Wednesday, November 30, 2005

12,498 minutes for roughing

Here's a brief look into the nature and madness of my studying:

For Corporations law, I've condensed 63 pages of course notes into 3 pages of fact boxes. Condensed much in the same way those prank snake cans are made, so that when I sit down the exam and open them up, my understanding will fly everywhere and I'll be left frightened at the result.

For Secured Transactions, what started out as a simple flowchart has become a logjam of intersecting arrows and roundabout logic. Rather than being a steady stream of understanding, it's a babbling brook of incoherence.

For Advanced Criminal Procedure, I'm not sure yet. Short of committing every crime in the Criminal Code and observing the progress of my cases, I'm not sure what the best method is here.

Oh how I long to start the holidays. My fratellos have indicated to me that for my arrival home the Playstation will be modified so as to let all three of us simultaneously play some hockey. I have a feeling one line of forwards will be a leader in penalty minutes this holiday season.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bloggy, make a wish

I've received no cards in the mail, but there's still time to send gift cards if you want. That's right, it's my blog's birthday! Just one year ago today I was lamenting the weather, observing panic over impending finals, and generally wasting time. Hmph. But the blog has grown up. Where I once used to just post about arcane items like musical interests or law school happenings, now I post about those arcane items with pictures.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tu eres un sellout

You may notice on the right side of the page (an area of stylized HTML deemed by some Spanish-speaking, law-studying members of the general audience to have become too commercial) that I've linked to three particular albums. These, my English-speaking amigos, are the CD's that I always associate with Christmastime. It was 1996 when I first got into R.E.M. with the appropriately titled New Adventures in Hi-Fi, and that Christmas was when I first starting working my way backwards through the band's catalogue. Monster is still one of my favorite albums, and how "Star 69" has been overlooked as one of the greatest pop songs I shan't ever know.

As for Beck's Midnite Vultures, I had to wait a whole month after its November 1999 release date before I could sit and listen to this amazing record. (Nowadays I've usually heard albums a whole month before their release date.) I imagine this will be a great party album in any decade, and to this day "Debra" still remains the funniest song I have ever heard (best falsetto too, Monster's "Tongue" being second). Bonus trivia: the hilarious video for Beck's "Sexx Laws," featuring copulating kitchen inventory, was also the first time I heard uttered the word "booya," delivered by none other than Jack Black.

Christmas eve 2002, I didn't know who or what Ryan Adams was, had never heard him sing. I got Gold solely on the basis of his critical acclaim. I would wager this is done by many people more than it's admitted nowadays, but in my case the gamble paid off. Adams now takes up a disproportionate amount of my iPod's memory, due in no small part to his compendium of songwriting. I recall listening to "La Cienega Just Smiled" over and over, overlooking the Northern Arm of the Halifax Harbour. I also remember the oversized bottles of Corona my father bought for no reason for me and my brothers to share that Christmas.

So what albums do you always associate with the holidays? (Not you O, tu puedes besar mi cu- ay jus kidding!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dude's a veritable Confucius

Updated: On Fogwatch, day 5, the fun ended continued.

As Mick Jagger once said, the sunshine bores the daylights outta me. Course, he also said "once upon a time I was your little rooster, now I'm just one of your cocks."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rhymes with eggnog

Yup, more fog. For those keeping track, this is Fogwatch... day 4!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tomorrow's forecast: bad 70's rock

Fogwatch, day three.

The mist continues to roll in without compromise. However, campus does have these really great lamps that give the whole scene a Victorian quality. I half expect to see Saucy Jack jump out of the shadows and claim his next victim. Not sure who Jack was? Watch the great movie on the subject if you want the identity to be a mystery, or read the graphic novel if you don't care for the mystery and want a better portrait of motive, something which a poorly-accented Heather Graham cannot convey. Either way, both great choices.

To get an understanding of the veritable fog hat this city is wearing, go to this site which has a webcam above the Burrard Street bridge. I'm still really amazed at this weather, because you don't really get anything like it in Calgary. I recall once in Kingston there was some fog, but it was more likely just some smog Toronto was too important for.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dr. Seuss' Blog on Fog

This weekend an eerie fog descended on Vancouver, blanketing the lower mainland in a dense mist typically reserved for heights of wuthering proportions. Rather disappointingly, the mist did not hide an armada of vengeful ghost pirates. Instead, it was the stereotypical villain, studying.

I did manage to get outside the apartment however, and take a nice leisurely, frightening drive through the fog. I was reminded of that first scene from Great Expectations (the real book, not the novelization of the movie of the book - click for a hilarious comparison) where Pip is in the fog and things seem to be running at him. It's sort of like that, only at 100 km/h. What makes it worse, is when those things running at you have no lights.

I soon discovered that there is no universal hand sign for "your lights are off." It's easy enough when the person is driving at you, as you can simply flash the brights. But with the driver behind me, I was forced to improvise a signal. I landed on miming a blinking light with my right hand. This got little reception, and I think I was assumed to have been doing some sort of dance. Finally, I pulled up next to the driver and pointed at the front of his car, making the same blinking hand motion. I was assured that there was no need to race. (Just as fine, Mr. Grand Caravan, my car would have positively owned you.)

In non-fog news, I'm glad to report that a late born whim this last Friday paid off. One half of Team Britannia was propelled into the finals for the annual comedy moot at the law school. It bodes well for the upcoming Law Revue that people find British accents so funny. And once again, I was asked if I was actually British. Nope, just watched Spinal Tap an inordinate amount of times.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I hope the Spanish Inquisition was open book

Consider the simple game of paper, rock, scissors. Secured Transactions law is just like this game, in that it's all about who beats who in a duel.

Only now, rock beats scissors only if it crushes them within fifteen days of being notified of the duel, but failing to do so, it crumbles. Paper covers rock, but if that rock is a trustee in bankruptcy, then say goodbye to paper. And scissors cuts paper, but if that paper happens to be a financing statement, free of any seriously misleading errors such as an incomplete serial number, then you need to throw out the scissors.

Click on the link above to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. Some guy invented rock, paper, scissors with 15 items. And he didn't stop there. He went to 25, a game with over 1 trillion permutations. Also on that note. [via Thom.]

I'm trying to think of a similar analogy for Corporations law, but that subject is a purely original machination, so inanely complex and absurd, so torturous, I'm apt to think it was invented by Torquemada himself.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A genuinely long blog post

I'm doing my Evidence reading in front of the TV (portentous omen #1), watching a CFL game (portentous omen #2) between Calgary and Edmonton, where the former has a substantial lead. And then I fall asleep. Thereafter, a number of unsettling items developed, and when I woke up:

1. The Stamps had managed to blow their lead

2. Our government has been marked for overthrowing

3. Fox had failed to correct their egregious mistake

4. My reading was still unread.

I guess when you think about it, those items are each equally unsurprising. I suppose my being tired is owed in large part to the endless marathon of work I've put into this International Law paper. The assignment was 23 pages, and I was certain I had written economics papers that long before in my undergrad.

Turns out my longest previous essay was 18 pages, and even then it was padded by a number of oversized graphs and charts. So naturally, I wrote my International paper on the subject of economics, and supported a lot of my theoretical legal arguments with a number of oversized graphs and charts.

Still, it's one more assignment down this term. And it's less than a month until I'm done. On that note, I was at the grocery store today and saw some egg nog, which usually is a signal I've arrived the term is over and I'm done all my exams. I considered buying it, but it felt like cheating. Somehow I can't justify enjoying the yuletide drink unless it washes the foul aftertaste of final exams from my mouth.

There is sits, taunting me. (This reminds me of another purchasing story which I'm sure W___ will be happy to relate in the continuing series of my ignoble history. W____, skittles?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bauer battles Bice, burns

Hmm, slow news week. A phrase synonymous with busy law term. But it's not all bad news.

I applied for a law job. (No, not this one.)

In exactly one month I'll be done exams and breaking out the 'nog. That's the yuletide drink, and not my debut rap act that I'm sure W___ will explain with verve with in the comments section when he gets around to reading this post.

And finally, new daylight savings rules have allowed for one more Jack Bauer Power Hour! First impressions suggest that a retrofied Jack fights an evil Bo Bice and become impervious to flames. How's that for a slow news week headline?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Citizen Axl?

My hometown Calgary Flames are making a stop in Vancouver tomorrow night to play the Canucks. The Flames are currently in the middle of a let's-ruin-last-year's-magic campaign, so they're in dire need of a win against a famous rival.

Naturally I'm torn with who to cheer for. Do I cheer for my adopted hometown, which has given me great sushi, great beaches and endless downpours of bone-chilling rain? Seriously, what's with this cold november rain? Don't make me concede anything to a guy named Axl.

Or do I go with my gut and root for Iggy, the Kipper, and I'm sure there's a guy in there called Rosebud.

To settle the debate, I ran a "simulation" of sorts, and it generated just what I expected: with penalties off, aggression maxed out, no icing, no offsides and on rookie-level play, Vancouver is no match for my hometown boys. A 25-2 rout. Go Flames!

Update: Alright, so a 1-0 win is not rout in the typical sense of the word, and the game was lacking in the hundreds of grossly illegal bodychecks that characterized my simulation, but the message was still there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

You can't have too many sets of fangs

I found out today that I am at least not the only one in history to combine an English literature and Economics degree. Turns out my evidence prof took the same subjects. I've always believed that fundamentally there are no two subjects further apart at a university than those. Let me explain:

Economics operates on the strict assumption that everyone wants to make as much money as they can, every chance they can get it. English Literature, on the other hand, consistently tells us that money is of trivial importance, and that it's love which is paramount.

So I guess that makes law the perfect synthesis of the two: the love of money. Har har.

Anyway, back to writing for the Law Revue. I can't really give away script ideas, but here's what you can expect in props: a lot of tinfoil, a spanish guitar, multiple sets of fangs, helium balloons, and a tear-away shirt.

Or possibly this shirt.