HELP!!! In preparation for the big 100...

Alright, I realize the irony of this message already, so let's get that out of the way. This is technically my 100th post (happy blog day!), and as my entrance into the centagenarians has approached, true to my alzheimer-esque personality, I've totally neglected this blog for the past week. Apologies! But I think you'll appreciate what I want to do with this.
I'm asking for your help with this BIG next post. Maybe I'm suffering from writer's block, maybe I'm a wicked smart reader-getter-marketer guy, and maybe I'm just a big ol' lame-o. All that aside, I want everyone who ever reads this blog to submit a comment, from which I'm going to compose my big "THREE-DIGIT EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!"
Your assignment is the following: ask the "ebv" a question about life, love, politics, sports, religion, or Utah (or even the topic of your choice). I will do my best to answer any and all queries sent my way.
I can't promise honest, accurate, or even coherent answers. But I can promise an honest effort to entertain. And it will be good.
Or it will be a disaster of epic proportions. Only time will tell.
Simply post those questions on the comments board of this post (located below). To those unfamiliar with this process (Mom...) simply left-click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post and follow the instructions on the right side of the screen. You have until next Wednesday, March 5 at 6pm to leave your comments.
Any and all readers can post to my comments board, whether or not you have a blogger profile. So if you're a long-time, first-time, or un-willing reader and you've never commented, make this the time to start. And to those who comment all the time, don't let me down.
So log on, type on, rock on!!!
Thank you.


Post #99

Can't believe I'm nearing triple digits. I also can't believe that little Wells Nevada got hit by a 6.0 earthquake today. According to the local news reports, Utah's imminent death-by-earthquake can't be far behind. (On a really weird note, I couldn't sleep well last night due to a weird dream about Salt Lake City getting hit by an earthquake...cue Twilight Zone theme music. Ooh-eeee-oooh--oohhh).

There are two prevailing theories about why this happened. First, that tectonic shifting in the Earth's outer crust created megatons of intense pressure and tension that, when released, caused the surrounding area to shake. Second, and more popularly adopted by local media in order to drum up viewership: This is the FREAKING APOCALYPSE!!! AHHHHH!!!!

I, in my anthropomorphist ways, have a third theory: Mother Nature's a vindictive bizo. We mess with her, she messes back. It's global karma, baby! If I had to classify her, I'd say she's definitely a Red/Blue in the color code. That's problematic for the rest of us...

All kidding aside, here are some of the headlines and bylines I've seen in the local papers and on the local stations. To those outside of the Intermountain West...pray for us!

A Utah Valley-based publication issued the following alerts on its website

"Nevada Town in State of Emergency, Declares State's Governor"
On the homefront, Representative Chris Buttars (R) calls Utah effort to send aid to Wells a 'Fairly homely African American baby' and Promises 'Constitchency' (sic) that he'll fight the NAACP tooth and nail until the Federal Government recognizes the sovereign State of Deseret.

"Utah Valley Birthrates Skyrocket--When the Earth is a-Quakin'..."
Marriage experts in Utah Valley--commonly referred to as Bishoprics in the LDS community--fear that with the impending geological liquidation of the Wasatch Front due to the FREAKING APOCALYPSE, skyrocketing birthrates may no longer leave orbit. In related news, Utah Valley's male population has taken in a collective sigh of relief...scientists unsure whether said sigh may impact global warming.

"Nevada Punished for 'Not Executing at a Higher Level' Local Athlete Declares"
When confronted by local media for his insensitivity, BYU Football Player Austin Collie boldly defended his statement, noting that "If they did what was right on and off the state lines, magic would have happened. It obviously didn't happen in this instance."
When reminded that this was a real earthquake with real damage and real lives at stake, Collie backed off his statement. "Sorry. I didn't realize this wasn't a game, and therefore no higher bar for which the local athletes could have striven for. I feel for those affected by the lack of football in their lives" the wide receiver sympathized. In classic Collie style, however, the footballer finished his interview with gusto--"Maybe this is what Nevada gets for gambling. I mean what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, am I right?!"

"Honor Code 'Not Earthquake-Proof' BYU Professor Concedes"
When asked whether the Honor Code would protect those BYU students that 'abide by those principles,' BYU Professor Dwight D. Gooden of the University's Department of Honor Code Studies stated that "[The Honor Code], like most contracts and agreements, is just not 100% effective in preventing injury resulting from natural disasters and other force majeure types of situations. If the students would read their contract more carefully, they'd understand that." "Furthermore," opined the PhD in General Studies, "The Honor Code is more of a set of guidelines, really. I mean, when does modesty protect you from an earthquake?! I guess if it's a moral earthquake..."

Meanwhile, in response to Professor Gooden's apocryphal interpretation of the Honor Code, BYU students campus-wide flaunted their new-found Honor Freedom. Opened containers of Dr. Pepper, Short Shorts, and Bearded Faces dotted the landscape. One student was even seen holding a sign stating "What Would Bronco Do?"

When contacted for comment, BYU President Cecil B. Samuelsen's office was unreachable. President Samuelsen's voice-mail did state, however, that "In case of emergency, President Samuelsen can be found in the secret bomb-shelter below the Wilk."

Yeah, that's where I live alright. I wonder if you could calculate the epicentre of a moral earthquake?



Last night, I woke up in the early morning hours with a burning hunger. I stumbled into the kitchen and, somehow through all the mental fog, I found the Kirkham's Trail Mix bag. I grabbed two handfuls of nuts, M&Ms, and raisins, and made my way back to bed. Climbing under the covers with most of my bounty stored carefully in either cheek, I remember forcing myself to stay awake and eat this stuff. Otherwise, I was going to make a mess and/or choke and die.

I don't know about you, but I do not want to choke to death on raisins. The fiber's just not worth it.

So with all that in mind, it's time for some political predictions and updates.

Most of my favorite muppet/politicians have been forced out of the race by now or have found themselves resurrected by the body politik. A quick rundown.

Pictured: Sen. Barack Obama (D) & Franklin Delano Bluth, Puppet
While I thought they had similar skin tones, I initially made the pairing for several reasons:
1. Wish they had “street cred”
2. Seem to have a magician's hand up...well, somewhere inside of them
3. Franklin Delano was named after a democratic president; Obama wants to be a democratic president; neither is appropriately realistic

FOLLOW UP: Obama, now the frontrunner in the Democratic race, and perhaps the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential race, truly does have a magician's hand...well, let's just leave it at that. While he still doesn't really have any street cred or even true Washington cred, I predict that he's going to soon have Pennsylvania Ave cred. And at this point, that's just fine with me. We need someone to excite and engage America again. And, as insane as this may sound, I think he might have a chance at Utah. "Shhhhhhhh..." just let it sink in before you talk.

My one hope is that his candidacy and future presidency is not the kind of illusion that his Muppet counter-part would so enjoy.

Pictured: Rudy Giuliani (R) & Gollum, CGI Puppet
This one should be obvious:
1. Bald, squinty-eyed, violently confrontational, checkered relationship past
2. Both are so tricksy—I don’t know who I’d trust in the path of Kirith Ungol
3. Try to claim credit for things they didn’t do: Giuliani for cleaning up NY, Gollum for finding the ring; surprisingly, everyone seems to believe and pity them…until someone gets their finger bit off

FOLLOW UP: Should have been obvious to anyone that even watched "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Both Giuliani and Gollum had horrible strategies. One thought that waiting to win Florida would be a good idea. The other thought that waiting for Frodo to get to Mordor would be a good idea. Both went down in flames with a tragic little smile on their faces.

And the audiences both cheered.

Pictured: Sen. John Edwards (D) & Sen. John McCain (R)
What?! Where are the Puppet Counterparts? Hmmm….so many puns, so little space. It’s still an interesting comparison:
1. One looks too good to be true, the other sounds too good to be true
2. Both passionate about things they shouldn’t be—the rich one about poverty, the old, cold one about global warming
3. With their forces combined they are…..Al Gore.

FOLLOW UP: It turns out that one of these guys was genuinely nice and the other was a royal prick. One is now a lovable loser and the other is still a prick. I'll see myself practicing law in Canada before I vote for McCain. Both parties kissed as much butt as they possibly could in the past weeks; Edwards, looking for a veep nomination, and McCain to manipulate Huckabee into staying in the race to become a King Maker. While Edwards looked like the second coolest guy at the prom trying to vie for Prince of the Prom, McCain just looked like a crotchety old man trying to win as many votes as he can in order to steal one from Romney/Guy Smiley.

Ooooh, that McCain. If he lived in my neighborhood, we'd have referred to him as "Old Man McCain" and blown up his mailbox as often as possible. If he wins the whole thing, I'll bet he even sits on the White House porch with a shotgun, looking to clear away them pesky Dems with salt pellets. Look for a very strongly worded commentary when he chooses his VP.

Pictured: Sen. Fred Thompson (R) & Sam the Eagle, Muppet
I don’t even need to explain this one, but I will:
1. Official symbols of Law & Order
2. Bear a frightening resemblance to Richard Milhaus Nixon when on TV
3. Famous for saying “Why am I here?”—one at the Muppet Family Christmas, the other at the latest Republican Presidential Candidate Debate

FOLLOW UP: Sadly, Thompson has been replaced on Law & Order. Thankfully, he can now do what he truly wants: absolutely nothing.

Pictured: TV Personality Stephen Colbert (R/D) & Woody, Toy
The resemblance is striking, and their personal philosophies bear striking similarities; all in all, very striking:
1. You’ve got a friend in both of them
2. View life with the optimism born of truth, freedom, and the American way
3. Fictitious, funny, and a wee bit fruity

FOLLOW UP: Actually, I'm still really sad that Stephen didn't make it into the running. His fresh-faced optimism really had me emotionally invested. Too bad it was all a joke. And I mean a very real, very funny joke, not the unfortunate farce that CNN/FoxNews politics has become.

Pictured: Gov. Mitt Romney (R) & Guy Smiley, Muppet
Mostly, it’s the hair, the smile, the chin, the suits…OK, these guys could have grown up on the shores of lake Superior together!
1. Famous for hosting seminal American events—the Olympic Games and Sesame Street’s “Here is Your Life”
2. Appreciate the value of a power tie and a solid hair part
3. Skilled in their respective management areas—venture capitalism and muppetism

FOLLOW UP: Someday, people will realize that Romney may have been a great candidate to go into Washington and change things up. Just like they now recognize that Guy Smiley would have been a better "Muppet Show" host than Kermit the Frog. Sadly, both were willing to say or believe whatever was politically convenient at the time. That got Mitt labeled as a social issues Flip-Flopper and Guy as an overly exuberant Muppet personality; and unfortunately for them, it got them both relegated to second-class puppet. Although, I imagine Guy didn't spend 35 mil on his Muppet Show Host campaign.

Pictured: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) & Ms. Piggy, Muppet
Perhaps the most obvious of all comparisons.
1. Sense of entitlement for being…piggish
2. Spotlight hog
3. Married to a slimy amphibian

FOLLOW UP: While the numbers remain close, Hillary has no momentum going into the rest of the DEM run. Amazingly, however, she still exudes a sense of entitlement and she remains married to a slimy amphibian. The only change in her status? That same slimy amphibian happens to have become the spotlight hog, to her detriment. If only Bill, like Kermit, ran around in the nude with a pig...oh, never mind.

Have a lovely week, all!


The Law Code

Thought I'd dropped this blog? No way. Couldn't keep me from it! So, an extra special entry. To all fans of the Color Code, here comes my own big personality test--the eerily similar "Law Code." Just answer the following nine questions and track your results-- 1. When confronted with your secret candy stash by your best friend, you a. Throw your shoulder into his sternum, yelling "You'll never catch me, you freaking NARQ!" b. Deny all allegations in a straightforward, logical sense, making sure your grammar is immaculate and that you meticulously cover each point in your friend's complaint. c. Yell "Look behind you!" snatch the candy from his hands and later burn all the evidence on the roof of the building. d. Try to work through the problem until you finally just outsource it to another friend to resolve. e. Try to work through the problem until the clock strikes five and you get to go home. f. Analyze the problem together with your friend, utilizing different interpretive strategies in order to come to the best synthesis of what your friend "really means" after all is said and done. g. Encourage your friend to express his true feelings about the situation and offer to draft an agreement between you two in order to avoid this situation in the future h. Shrug your shoulders and offer him some of the candy. 2. In your garden, you place one flower, and one flower only, at the center of your zen sanctuary. It is... a. A Venus Fly Trap b. A Tulip c. A White Rose d. You can't decide, so you offer to give the decision to a neighbor e. A perennial flower that blooms from 9 to 5 every day and requires little maintenance f. The Carnation--James Madison's favorite flower g. You can never quite get the flower you want, so you plant a new one each year h. A Tiger Lily, representing the simultaneous flux between yin and yang...or not. 3. The first aisle you roll down when buying groceries is a. Whichever aisle provides the most cover in case the store is robbed b. Whichever aisle happens to contain my most prescient need at the time c. The aisle with the most expensive items d. The candy aisle e. The milk and eggs aisle f. The produce aisle, so you can find the deals on the almost rotten stuff g. The games aisle. Food schmood...you need to be happy. h. You generally go to a specific aisle? 4. Word Association. When you read the following words, which emotion best describes your reaction? GUN CONTROL a. Outrage b. Neutrality c. Contemplation d. Intrigue e. Safe f. 2nd Amendment Violation! g. Ambivalence h. Sleepy 5. During a dream, you see a beautiful rainbow leading to your secret desire. Which of the following most closely matches that desire? a. Justice for you, for me, for America! b. A lot, and I mean A LOT of money. c. Prestige and respect from prestigious and respected people. d. The ability to hang out all the time and make other people do your work for you. e. Stability, happiness, sanity, and a wholesome family environment. f. Your successful run into Washington as the people's candidate! g. Peace and Love for you, for me, for America! h. Ummm...a hottie who likes me for me. Just because. 6. After a heated battle with your significant other over who REALLY controls the remote control in your relationship, you calm down by a. Destroying the remote control with your bare hands. b. Negotiating a potential settlement with your significant other wherein you'll share custody of the remote control on alternating days, excluding federal holidays and weekends. c. Rubbing your temples slowly while whispering to yourself "It's just a remote. I can handle this. I've done this before." d. Calling your mom and asking her to draft up a memo outlining her opinion on the matter before making a final decision. e. Calmly counting to ten before taking a nap on the couch while your significant other watches their favorite show. f. Declaring that "The Remote is, was, and will continue to be for the use and enjoyment of all people" and that you're willing to fight to the end to maintain that God-given right! g. Asking your significant other how they feel when they don't have the remote and if they would be open to sharing their feelings with you next time this kind of dispute arose. h. Turning off the TV and going for a walk to the ice cream shop. 7. Two Plus Two Equals a. Four, bone-head. b. Typically four, but it depends on the situation and the facts presented in each case. c. Five, maybe even six if you put it in the right financial institutions. d. Let me get back to you on that. e. Three, after taxes. f. The same amount to all peoples, races, and tongues! g. As much or as little as the parties stipulate to after a healthy discuission. h. Are you really asking this question?! 8. You are alone on a desert island and have one comfort item. You take a. A gun. Just in case. b. A John Grisham novel. c. A $100 bill, to start the fire with. d. Your favorite pair of chinos. e. Your school sweater. f. A copy of the Federalist Papers. g. A picture of your entire family in matching khaki and white shirt ensembles. h. A satellite phone. To call the rescue party. 9. If you could describe yourself in one hyphenated word it would be a. Type-A b. Type-B c. Power-Hungry d. Middle-Man/Woman e. Laid-Back f. Pro-Free-Speach g. Touchy-Feely h. Okee-Dokee. Alright, now count up how many of each letter you circled and follow the rubric below. If you circled "a" most often, you are Criminal Law.
  • The Criminal Law Personality likes to get down to the nitty gritty, give 110% pull out all the stops, and speak in cliches as often as possible
  • They identify most with Clint Eastwood characters
  • Often deeply conflicted, these are CEO types who cry themselves to sleep with a teddy bear in one arm and sucking a thumb
  • Their great attribute: PASSION. Criminal Law types are just as likely to slap you as kiss you. But they'll do either with great gusto.
If you circled "b" most often, you are Civil Law.
  • The Civil Law Personality would be considered the most easy going of all the Law Personalities, but for their insatiable thirst to be recognized and make LOTS of money. In fact, their lust for recognition and compensation is only outmatched by the Corporate Law Personality.
  • They identify most with Switzerland. Whoever's right doesn't matter, as long as they have the finest chocolates and watches.
  • Civil Law types would be conflicted except for their lack of decisiveness. They run the middle ground as long as they can, and feel safe there.
  • Their great attribute: Neutrality. They'll care for, represent, and even defend anyone and everyone, so long as the price is right.
If you circled "c" most often, you are Corporate Law.
  • The Corporate Law Personality loves cash, pinstripes, and whatever colors best match their ensemble that day. Corporate Lawyers relish their role as both an entrepreneurial and logical person.
  • They identify most with tall buildings and long names with roman numeral suffixes
  • Corporate Law types feel strongly about what they're doing, but don't often let ethics or morals get in the way of a good time. The Invisible Hand and Adam Smith are their gods.
  • Their great attribute: steely resolve. They get things done. Period.
If you circled "d" most often, you are In House Counsel.
  • The In House Counsel looks to find the best of both worlds no matter the situation. They want to eat their cake and have it too. And often, they succeed.
  • They identify strongly with Puppies. Everyone loves them and doesn't mind when they can't perform any real tricks. In fact, it's kind of cute when they poop the carpet. Heck, even the poop is cute.
  • In House Counselors look to have a good time and get away with doing as little real work as possible. They love to and are great at delegating. Upper management and administration is peppered with these personalities.
  • Their great attribute: passing the buck in the nicest way possible. Seriously, try and stay mad at this personality. Impossible!
If you circled "e" most often, you are a Government Attorney.
  • The Government Attorney is willing to sacrifice success, glamor, and money in order to balance their life. They view those transient things as secondary to enjoyment and fulfillment and peace at life. The Government Attorney is likely to take up running or fishing in order to fill up those hours that other attorneys spend billing.
  • Government Attorneys identify STRONGLY with Bill Cosby, the consummate family man. Heck, the guy even worked from home.
  • Government Attorneys are generally relaxed and pleasant to talk to. However, don't expect them to change the world in general. They're satisfied with making their own slice of the pie a little sweeter.
  • Their great attribute: BALANCE. They prioritize and make time for family, friends, and what they view as important.
If you circled "f" most often, you are Constitutional Law.
  • The Constitutional Law Personality loves old values and new debates. They love to analyze and make rules.
  • They identify with Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson. It's an either/or thing.
  • Constitutional types look for the injustices in the world and appeal to authority rather than reasoning in order to prove their points. If a long-dead president or founding father did it or said it, it's good.
  • Their great attribute: Consistency. They feel like they've got a set of important values to stick to, and they STICK to them. You know how they feel and how they'll react
If you circled "g" most often, you are Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • ADR Personalities look for compromise and try to ensure that everyone gets at least something that they wanted in every situation. Sometimes they try too hard to make everyone happy and end up sacrificing their own happiness in the process. They have a martyr syndrome that's hard to get away from.
  • They identify strongly with bananas. Who doesn't like bananas? But sometimes the banana is too green, too brown, too fibrous, too small, etc. But when you find the right banana, it's awesome.
  • ADRs like to get involved in conflicts to resolve them. They're sometimes accused of being nosy or gossipy, but they really just want to help.
  • Their great attribute: Mellowness. They look to be the voice of reason in any argument and relish their role as the mediator. They make terrific referees and parents...until their kids become teenagers and realize they can abuse their parents' kindness.
If you cirlced "h" most often, consider yourself The Other.
  • The Other wonders how much BS he can find in the world in order to mock
  • The Others identify strongly with jade. It's their favorite way of being.
  • The Others tend to make up the majority of the population, yet can't believe that anyone else is an Other. Thus, they tend to be secretly lonely and make up for this with caustic and sarcastic humor. People love to be around them, because they can make anything funny.
  • Their great attribute: Humor. You're funny, you know it, and you share it. Hey, when did a healthy ego ever prevent someone from doing great things?
Well, there it is. In case you're wondering, that only took an hour to create. The Color Code took two! It's based partly in science, partly in experience, and mostly in jest. I hope the rest of your life is determined in large part by this test. Enjoy!


Well, here comes the new Blog...

Yeah. You heard me. The Amazon Mission Blog. Go to http://missionmanaus.blogspot.com. And enjoy.

Let me give you a rundown. It's entitled "Rua Itauba." Literally translated, that would be Itauba street. I lived on that street for seven months in a little apartment on the edge of the Amazon Rain Forest, sandwiched between the mightiest river in the world and the most expansive green you've ever seen: The Selva. The breathing, heaving mass that stretched for thousands of kilometers in every direction. It was always there--always a brief walk away, always waiting, always inviting. And yet, it played a subdued role in my life. What went on in the steaming pavement of Manaus shaped me forever.

Like I explained earlier, this blog will be written as if I were a Missionary once again. Blow by blow. High by high. Down by down. Every day will be a "Day in the Life of..." as it mostly was. I'm culling this all from actual journal accounts, letters to friends and family, memory, and second-hand accounts. I want this to be an exploration into what it means to be a Mormon missionary, a 19-year-old suburban-bred boy, and an American thrust into a foreign culture, a tropical environment and a third world country...literally a stranger in a strange land. I will not hold back. Some who read this may be personally involved, and may be surprised, offended, or (hopefully) touched by what I write. I hope they may forgive some of my superficialities, first-impressions, and juvenile feelings and actions. I was and continue to be an unreliable narrator--everything is skewed from my perspective and my narrow conception of the present. I hope to temper that with hindsight and the little bit of wisdom I've gleaned in the ensuing six years, but I will not spoil the raw emotions and thoughts that came to me at the time. What I'm engaging in is a dangerous balancing act between truth and fiction that may be trickier than you can believe. While I may hope for something akin to a bio-pic or documentary, the result may have to be a compromise: creative non-fiction.

As this is meant to be a two-year perspective, hopefully the readers will be patient and stick with me, learn with me, grow with me, and love with me. Most importantly, I'm doing this for me. I hope to preserve what all this meant to me, and share something I loved so much with everyone I can touch.

Tomorrow marks six years that all of this happened--enough time to get some perspective on everything that happened and proximate enough that I can still remember people, events, places, smells, etc.

It's really the smells that got me...


Crim Law

Don't ask why we shorten Criminal Law to "Crim Law" in Law School. We just do. There's lots of things we just do for no other reason than because we always have...like use the "Socratic Method"...and base entire futures on first-year grades, which are in turn based on performances from five or six three-hour tests...or my personal reasonless favorite: Law Review. Basically, law school is one giant, three-year "Rush Week" wherein law students must swallow the metaphorical goldfish of "academia." Only after going through the intellectual hell of brotherhood/sisterhood earning can law students get their metaphorical babes...or metaphorical dudes. It is the way it has always been. And it is good. Sadly, I sometimes complain about the metaphorical spankings and the metaphorical sacrificial goats. But I must remind myself after metaphorically tending to my metaphorically spanked hiney, that when I get to wear that Sig Ring...er...Pass the Bar Exam, it's all gonna be worth it. And yes, if given the chance to do Law School again exactly as they did it 100 years ago, I "WOULD HAVE ANOTHER, SIR!" and I "WOULD LIKE IT!" Anyway, here's Crim Law in a nutshell: First, watch Law and Order. They will explain it all to you in a way that you can understand. There. I have just saved you three credits and thousands of dollars. If you don't have access to Law and Order, you obviously don't have a television, and I am sorry. You should invest in that before you decide you want to practice criminal law. So, here are some basic outlines of Crim Law if you want to peruse them. Just imagine that Sam Waterston is reading them to you from his enormous desk at the NY District Attorney's office. And at the end of each section, shout out "Duhm Duhm!!" Murder
  • The intentional killing of another human being
    • Unless you are OJ, in which case it is the intentional killing of another human being with five eye-witnesses willing to testify, indisputable DNA evidence in the Judge's robes, and a book outlining exactly how you would have done it if you had done it...hypothetically speaking, of course.
  • Murder is usually measured and punished by degrees
    • 1st Degree
      • Bad. This person intentionally killed someone in a very messy/icky/disturbing way.
      • We usually imprison this kind of murderer for life or let them languish in prison for twenty years before we execute them.
    • 2nd Degree
      • Less Bad. This person killed intentionally in a less messy/icky/disturbing way.
      • We usually imprison this kind of murderer for life or less than life. Twenty years is about the minimum, unless you piss off the warden in a game of Guards/Prisoners Football at a local high school, in which case you can win your freedom with a victory on the gridiron or remain behind bars for a long, long time with a loss. That is referred to as the Longest Yard Rule.
    • Manslaughter
      • Least Bad. This person killed (maybe not even intentionally) in an accidental, but usually still messy/icky/disturbing way.
      • "Slap on the wrist" punishment, usually 5-10 years, unless you piss off the warden... in which case, you know the rest
    • Vehicular Homicide
      • Still bad, but somehow more understandable.
      • I believe this stems from the universal ailment called "Road Rage." We still frown on this behavior, but deep down, know we all imagine ourselves engaging in it from approximately 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on I-15.
  • For Women:
    • No means no, jerkoff!
    • If he's 18, you need to be 18...usually. Check your state.
    • Aggravated rape should be punished by castration.
      • With a rusty blade.
      • And no anaesthetic.
  • For Men:
    • When the perpetrator is a woman, the only question you must remember in this analysis is "Can a willing party be raped?"
      • With all the resources of the legal ivory tower behind this issue, we still haven't answered this question definitively. Really.
  • Forcibly taking someone against their will and holding them somewhere they don't want to be.
    • Often mistaken for a date here in Provo, kidnapping is frowned upon by most of the world.
    • It's the criminal version of False Imprisonment. Only, instead of losing money, you lose your freedom with this one.
  • I often wonder where the name came from... can you really Nap a Kid? It just doesn't sound menacing. It should be "Body Stealing" or "Person Taking." That would be much more accurate.
Armed Robbery
  • Robbery performed with the presence of a weapon. Real or imagined.
    • Don't want this on your record? Engage in fraud. It's much safer overall, and your chances of being caught by the feds go way down.
Felony Murder Rule
  • Engaging in a felony? Silly you! If somebody dies while you're engaging in that felony, you may be found guilty of their murder.
    • Easy Example:
      • You're engaging in armed robbery at the local supermarket. Deep down, you know you should have just bought the bag of candy, falsified an allergic reaction to the yellow ones and milked the company for all the sweets you could eat, but that required too much effort. And besides, you can't help that your Sour Patch Kids dependency requires money that you just don't have! Meanwhile, unaware of your internal dilemma, the cashier, after seeing your bag of SPKs and the .45 Special sticking out of your belt, begins to breathe erratically. When you look up and say "Hey Buddy, are you OK?!" he clutches his chest and whispers "Those were Buy one Get One Free, you jerk!" and collapses to the linoleum floor, dead.
      • Because you stole the candy (cheapskate!) and did it with a gun on your person, you are going to be found guilty of felony murder. In most states. Well, at least some. And that's a bad thing.
    • What you did wrong:
      • You had a gun. Didn't pay attention earlier? You could have just as easily napped the Kids without a gun, which probably would have been a misdemeanor, and then you'd be off scott free! Not your fault this guy's tubing was bad.
      • You waited around with the candy at the cashier's desk. You should have just run away. Fast.
      • You could have abandoned the crime, returned the candy, and tried to help the guy. It's debatable whether this could get you off, but it would at least get you a mitigated sentence and a better shot to take on the warden's team...
Well that's all I can remember from my Crim Law class. Maybe that's why we shortened the name to "Crim Law"--to reflect the abbreviated nature of our studies. But don't worry, if you do go into the practice of Criminal Law, you'll have TONS of time to study the remaining nuances of American criminal jurisprudence between your hundreds of cases, continuous trial dates, and meager paychecks. But just remember, you don't do it for the babes. Or for the dudes. You do it for the pride. You do it for Justice. You do it for America. You do it to live the Sam Waterston way. The right way. If you want the Law & Order life, this is what you do. And you feel good about it. Until you really do engage in Vehicular Homicide. And then all bets are off.



Continuing our series of three-minute law school lessons. The study of stuff. Property is any item, idea, or plot of land belonging wholly or severally, exclusively or jointly to an individual, group of individuals, or entities. Property belongs to you as long as you own it, unless someone takes it from you. Then it becomes their property if they hold on to it long enough...except that some rules of common law property prevent that from happening...but, then again, sometimes the rules encourage that kind of behavior. That's the study of Property! Confusing? Yes. Invigorating? No. Affects Everyone? Absolutely. Can make a stupid man rich? Check. (--see Realtors and Real Estate Attorneys.) Enjoy! First, a basic Property Principle: ownership.
  • Ownership
    • The legal right to a possession of a thing.
    • You generally maintain ownership of something by holding onto it longer than someone else or by being the first to hold onto it.
      • Remember the dude that caught the Barry Bonds HR Record Ball? He owned it because he grabbed it first.
      • Remember the property your great-great-grandpa owned in Oklahoma? He owned it because he grabbed it sooner than anyone else.
        • Note: this rule apparently only applied in Colonial times if you were a caucasian of European descent. See Manhattan Island and the rest of the United States of America.
    • While some men claim to own their wives (and vice versa), it's debatable whether or not someone can own another person under the above definition.
      • If any one person can make a claim to ownership of someone else, it would have to be that individual's parents. I mean, where did the genetic material come from? Who maintained and sustained the individual from the womb on into their early twenties? Who took possession of us first?
        • At best, we've been leased our lives, and owe it to our parents to be good tenants. Otherwise, they could evict us.
        • Note: Some kindly parents transfer their interest in us to our significant others at marriage. Some do not, however, and they leave messy ownership squabbles up and down the family tree.
With ownership out of the way, let's look at some of the guiding principles of property. The Law of Property is easily split into two categories--Real and Personal (a third, Intellectual Property, is its own technological beast). Personal Property
  • Things you own which can be moved around.
    • Examples:
      • iPods
      • Snowboards
      • Cars
      • Refrigerators
      • Law Degrees
      • Pirate Booty
      • Chocolate Bars
      • Refrigerated iPods
      • etc
    • That's about it. Personal Property is pretty easy law. You either own it, buy it, or steal it. Again, whoever holds onto it first or longest tends to get to keep it.
  • Land. Real Estate. The safest financial investment (until lately). Immovable property.
    • Still don't know why people call it Real Property. It's not like it's fake. It could come from the latin for "Royal," but that would be old, dated language that no one would use unless they wanted...to...impress...hmmm...
    • Real Property is worth its weight in paper money, especially if shiny things are found underneath it, like
      • Gold
      • Silver
      • Oil
      • Latex
      • Potatoes. Shiny ones.
      • Someone can take Real Property from someone else by holding onto it adversely for a requisite amount of time (5 years in California, 40 in Iowa, just for example) without the owner showing up and complaining about it.
        • This may sound funny or even unjust, but just imagine owning acres of land hundreds of miles away and never doing a thing with it. Law (and especially lawyers who practice law) abhors a wasted thing.
        • This is the only time you can hold onto something adversely and have everything turn out good for you, unless you're reading a Danielle Steel novel.
        • Just remember that, when endeavoring to adversely possess a plot of land, you should probably try to pay the property taxes and improve the plot. Oh, and don't let the real owner allow you to be on or use the property. If he or she tells you "It's OK that you're on Blackacre right now" you go ahead and tell them "No, it's not OK. I'm adversely possessing it. Bring it on." Otherwise, you'll lose your chance.
        • I should open a school for squatters.
    • Real Property is fun because:
      • You can lease it
      • You can sell it
      • You can buy it
      • You can split it
      • You can build things on it
      • You can make covenants with it
      • You can sue other people for it
      • You can do lots of things with it that you couldn't do without it.
That's all I have to say about Property. I apologize for it. It's not the most exciting area of law. I'll try and spice up the next one.


The Giants Win the Pennant....the Giants Win the Pennant... The Giants...!

Tremendous game! Couldn't be happier that the Patriots' pitch for a perfect season went down in a flame of mediocrity. Funny how we like to set up the evil Goliaths so that we cheer on the rock-slingin' Davids. Don't remember much from the game because of my current NyQuil-induced haze. I've got some kind of malicious infection camped out in my head and it's been there for days. Right now, I'd like to find a thick straw, jam it up my sinus cavity and suck out the evil nested there. Finding someone to suck it out might be a trick, however. As my roommate Matt noted, "Snake poison? Sure! Sinus fluids? No chance!" Kind of puts a new twist on "You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose..." Ughhhh...just sneezed. I have to clean up the keyboard now.