Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Practicing Again

I'm still trying to figure out how to present cases on my blog. I actually found a source of case law that doesn't scream Westlaw all over it, and I can download the cases into Word. And look! I can highlight stuff. Now let's just see if I can make the pictures stick on this page.

This is funny. Well, as funny as law can get. One of the parties wanted to move the case from Galveston to Houston based on the fact that Galveston doesn't have a commercial airport they could fly into. The judge appears to be a little insulted.

Check out footnote 2: Defendant will again be pleased to know that regular limousine service is available from Hobby Airport, even to the steps of this humble courthouse, which has got lights, indoor plummin', 'lectric doors, and all sorts of new stuff, almost like them big courthouses back East.

Now that I see these on the page, I think I'm going to need to find a way to shrink the pictures. Damn.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bald Faced Liar Award

Amanda has awarded me the “Bald Face Liar Award.” I just think she is trying to pay me back for my “Amanda Gets Meme’d” series.

Here we go:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
Thanks Amanda!

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you.

4. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
See below.

5. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
Come on, you know I don’t do that.

6. Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know you nominated them.
The last time I left a comment on someone’s blog, I suggested they sew little outfits for a dead lizard that someone put on their desk at work. My comment days are over.

My six lies and one truth:

1. I believe that truth is stranger than fiction. Instead of telling you six lies and one truth, I’ve told you six truths and one lie.

2. I’ve been to a nudist camp. Yes, they really do play volleyball. People carry towels around because it is proper nudist etiquette to always sit on a towel. I was surprisingly comfortable being naked around strangers. I was only there for one visit. It was a great experience, but I doubt I’d do it again. No wait, I’m pretty sure I’d go to a nude beach if given the opportunity.

3. I am the only person on the planet who hates the Simpsons. I’ll watch any other cartoon, from the Flintstones to Family Guy, but NEVER the Simpsons.

4. Since beginning my blog in October 2006, I’ve gotten married and had two kids.

5. I invented the now popular “lava” cake years ago, when I was a college freshman. I would bake a chocolate cake until the sides were set and the middle was warm and gooey. Then my friends and I would sit around with spoons and eat it right out of the pan. Not only was it delicious, it was practically a diet food because you didn’t need any icing.

6. I once applied to be a contestant on “Survivor”. Part of my audition video consisted of me trying to avoid getting hit by a radio-controlled airplane (“flying under the radar”). I guess it’s pretty obvious why I have never written about my experiences as a contestant on “Survivor”.

7. I’m afraid of birds. Something about the way they look at me with that one eye.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

E-mail Video from One of the Rowdy Girls

I have a group of girlfriends that I lovingly refer to as the "rowdy girls". The rowdy girls don't normally e-mail videos, jokes, cute animal pics, etc., so when I received this e-mail today, I knew the video was going to be either dirty or bizarre. I was right.

Road Runner Funny Clip - Click here for funny video clips

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nutkin the Squirrel

I was going to just do this on my practice blog, but figured, heck, I can probably turn my messing around into a blog post.

I mentioned earlier that I am working on a series of “law” related posts. Right now, I’m trying to figure out the best way to present court cases. Should I cut and paste the relevant part on my blog? What if it’s too long? Should I post a link to the case? If I do that, you may have to slog through a lot of boring crap to get to the good part. Maybe a combination of both? I need to find a way to highlight the good parts for you. And maybe research Google Docs for those cases I can't link to. This is why I don't post much. I get all frustrated and exhausted just trying to figure out the technical aspects, then I give up and go watch television.

Anyway, here’s a case that made me laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s the story of Nutkin the Squirrel.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee,


Barbara GOSSELIN, Appellant.

Argued Aug. 31, 2004.

Filed Nov. 5, 2004.



¶ 1 This appeal revolves around the life and times of Nutkin the squirrel.

¶ 2 Nutkin's early life was spent in the state of ferrae naturae, in the state of South Carolina, and, as far as we can tell, in a state of contentment. She apparently had plenty of nuts to eat and trees to climb, and her male friends, while not particularly handsome, did have nice personalities. Life was good.

¶ 3 Then one day tragedy struck: Nutkin fell from her tree nest!

¶ 4 But fate was kind. Nutkin was found and adopted by Appellant and her husband who, at that time, were residents of South Carolina. Appellant lovingly nursed Nutkin back to health, and Nutkin became the family pet. A large room-sized enclosure was built so Nutkin had plenty of room to run and climb. Life was good again.

¶ 5 Nutkin's captivity and domestication were perfectly legal in South Carolina, possibly a reflection of that state's long tradition of hospitality to all.

¶ 6 In 1994, Appellant and her husband moved to Pennsylvania and brought Nutkin with them. Life was full of promise.

¶ 7 Dark clouds began to gather, however, in November, 2002, when Appellant's husband phoned the Pennsylvania Game Commission concerning a hunter whom he and Appellant believed was hunting near an area on their property where they had set out food for deer. In response to that complaint, a Wildlife Officer appeared at Appellant's property to investigate. At that time the Officer became aware that a deer had been illegally shot on Appellant's property and dragged to a neighboring property. Appellant and her husband requested that the Game Officer further investigate the poaching of the deer. The Officer refused to do so, but when he spotted Nutkin in her room-sized enclosure, he advised Appellant that it was a violation of the law to keep Nutkin in this manner. The Game Officer acknowledged that the squirrel was too old and too tame to be released to the wild (A situation akin to that of an old appellate judge, like the undersigned, attempting to return to the boiling cauldron of the trial court after being tamed by years of peace and quiet above the fray. Chances of survival of both species are poor.) He offered to forgo citing Appellant if she would relinquish Nutkin to his control. Appellant and her husband refused.

¶ 8 The reasons for this refusal are not apparent of record, but familial ties no doubt played a part in the decision. (At oral argument, our esteemed colleague, Judge Klein, alluded to the possibility of “squirrel stew”, but there is insufficient evidence to support this horrific supposition.)

¶ 9 Nutkin would then learn the shocking truth that the cheery Pennsylvania slogan “You've got a friend in Pennsylvania” did not apply to four-legged critters like Nutkin. On December 2, 2002, the Wildlife Conservation Officer issued a citation directed to Appellant's husband for violating section 2307(a) of the Game and Wildlife Code, entitled “Unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife”.

¶ 10 Appellant had become known to the Pennsylvania Game Commission by appearing to testify before the Game and Fisheries Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in September, 2001. In this testimony, the Appellant complained about the enforcement proceedings of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and particularly complained of the fact that every year “bubba” hunters showed up in the woods near their house to drive out the deer and the hunters were guilty of various other displays of bad hunting manners. Stipulation of Facts, 8/5/03, Exhibit C. She further testified to her opinion that the Game Commission is “against any landowner who posts their property.” Id.

¶ 11 While there is no explicit claim of retaliatory prosecution, the stipulated facts show an interesting temporal relationship between Appellant's complaints both to the Game Commission and the General Assembly and her present difficulties.

[1] ¶ 12 In any event, Appellant was convicted of the offense before a district justice and again before the common pleas court in a trial de novo based upon stipulated facts. She was fined $100.00 plus the costs of prosecution. While the trial court did not file an opinion, it did provide the following reasoning in support of its decision in a footnote to the order finding Appellant guilty:

*To sustain this finding, reference must be had to the PA Code Title 58 Chapter 137 in which it is provided at 137.1(a), “unless otherwise provided in this section or the Act, it is unlawful for a person to... possess... (9) game or wildlife taken alive from the wild or (10) game or wildlife held captive or game or wildlife held in captivity or captive bred *999 in another state.” Also, 137.31(b) a person violating this subchapter will be subject to the penalties provided in 2307 of the Act (relating to unlawful taking or possession of game o[r] wildlife).

Order dated 11/21/03. This timely appeal followed.

The rest of the case is a discussion of the law.

You can read the entire case here if you want to. If you don't want to read the whole case, Nutkin won in the end.

I wish all cases were as entertaining as this one.

Okay. I'm publishing this sucker now. I need to see if it's too long and if the link works. I already know the fonts are screwed up. And what's the deal with the link? I've tried fixing it but I'm tired of this. Maybe after my nutritious breakfast of those little white donuts and chocolate milk, I will come back and work on it again. Sugar and chocolate can make anything better.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Waiting for Domino's

Know what I'm doing right now? Waiting for Domino's to deliver dinner. This is a prime example of just how goofy and easily impressed I am.

When you order pizza from Domino's online, you get to track the progress of your pizza being made. This NEVER fails to entertain me. For example, Jose just put my pizza in the oven. My pizza is baking at this VERY minute.

When the timelime shows "out for delivery", that means it is time to start scrambling for money and making sure nothing or no one can get out the front door that isn't supposed to when the delivery guy/gal rings the doorbell. If I'm feeling really fancy, I may even put on shoes for the pizza guy/gal.

Heh. Jose just double-checked my order for perfection. Way to go, Jose.

By the way, Domino's isn't my favorite pizza, but it's moved up in the rankings so I don't mind eating it when we order from a chain. It really is new and improved, and the crust doesn't taste like cardboard anymore.

Ok, Amanda just left the store with my order. Gotta go find the money. Screw the shoes, I'm answering the door barefoot.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

How Addicted to Twitter Are You?

How addicted to Twitter are you?

Created by Oatmeal

I really like Twitter -- most of the time. It's easy to check for updates, and the tweets are limited to 140 characters, so it's a quick read.

Someone came up with a list of 10 things people need to stop tweeting about. It's weird, but most of what they hate on Twitter is what I like. For instance, I like to read about, and see pictures of, what people are eating, drinking or cooking. I love to read tweets about people's pets and kids -- pictures are even better. I'm always interested in seeing what kind of "projects" people are sewing, knitting, quilting, etc. And reading drunken tweets is always fun.

I'm surprised the list doesn't include what I think is the most annoying tweet of all: posting what song you are listening to at the moment. I don't really give a rat's ass about what song someone is listening to. Maybe it's because I'm not that into music, or maybe it's because it never fails that one of those songs gets into my head and won't leave. Last week I had "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" bouncing around in my head all morning. Try getting that song out of your head without a shotgun.