Thursday, November 30, 2006

I like lawyer jokes as much as the next guy

And this one was pretty funny:

One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"

"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied, "We have to eat grass."

"Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the lawyer said.

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree."

"Bring them along," the lawyer replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us, also."

The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!"

"Bring them all along as well," the lawyer replied.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you."

The lawyer replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place.

The grass is almost a foot high."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One of the Many Things

about this world that I just don't understand:

Stoplights. Or, as our friends at the Institute of Traffic Engineers like to call them: "traffic control systems". Of course, this term makes you envision something that has been planned, designed, engineered, thought about, or at least considered in some remotely intelligent way.

I'm sure many traffic signals, and more importantly the intersections that have them, do fit this description. To be fair, I know that they exist, and have used them. I like them, and believe they are a credit to our evolution as a species.

On the other hand. Being someone's brother-in-law does not make one an engineer. Nor does receiving a (presumably) lucrative contract to "engineer" something.

By the same token, erecting poles, putting pretty lights on them, and painting lines on the road does not constitute implementing a traffic control system. In fact, in certain cases that I am personally aware of, it constitutes, at best, an infuriating mess, and at worst, an environmental scourge and a safety hazard.

Consider if you will, a well-traveled suburban artery, 3 lanes in each direction, intersecting with another road. Well, not so much a road... more like what I, eschewing engineer-speak, call a "place on a road where there are infrequently-used entrances to parking lots on either side". I hesitate to call this an intersection, as that term implies at least 2 roads, but I suppose we must call it that because of the presence of approximately 8 different poles, sturdily constructed, with horizontal gantries, adorned with approximately 24 different arrays of signals. Plus a whole bunch of painted lines delineating various crosswalks and left- and right-turn-only lanes. In other words, a hell of a lot of expensive hardware and construction.

Now then. Consider a typical weekday morning in this delightful suburb, where business persons (Tahoes), office workers (Pathfinders), customer service personnel (Explorers), real estate brokers (Escalades), soccer moms (Suburbans), small business owners (King Cab trucks), and lawn care professionals (1995 GMC crew cab pulling overloaded trailer) are all motoring along this pristinely maintained suburban artery, 10 mph over the 45 mph speed limit, on their way to do whatever it is they do to enable them to fill their 25 gallon gas tanks twice a week.

Try to calculate in your mind the amount and different kinds of energy that are expended when, hundreds of times a week, every week of every year, 30+ of these vehicles and all of their occupants must suddenly, inexplicably, slam on their brakes, come to a complete stop at a red light, wait about three minutes for the lights to cycle through all the various configurations, then accelerate back up to 55mph from a dead stop, all so that the "cross traffic" can proceed through the intersection unimpeded. Said cross traffic, of course, consisting of... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AND NO ONE.

The Dreaded...

Wintry Mix has arrived!

What would you think about a man who does the following:

1. Unnecessarily takes his child with him on an errand which is almost certain to end in both their deaths. Deaths which will most likely be prolonged and excruciating. An errand which his child does not want to go on. An errand which would, in the extremely unlikely event it is successful, have an outcome which the child has unequivocally stated that he does not desire. And "unnecessarily" because: the child cannot possibly make any meaningful contribution to the errand's success. In fact, the child's presence will almost certainly hinder the attempt.

The man's motive in taking the child with him? Unknown, but probably explicable as an attempt to assuage the man's loneliness in undertaking the errand OR because the man considers his child to be the only thing of value that he has.

2. After the errand is unexpectedly interrupted before it becomes truly dangerous, by an incident during which the child is kidnapped, the man then recklessly endangers several of his closest (only) friends (and a couple of other people who are merely bystanders and good samaritans) by charging off in a clearly futile attempt to "rescue" the child. I put "rescue" in quotes because the man, while possibly hoping to actually rescue the child, appears to merely be allowing his guilt and vanity to override his reason and his consideration of others.

3. But anyway. So then he gets himself also kidnapped, by a group of people who: (a) are the sworn enemies of the man and his group of loyal friends (who, as previously stated, risked their lives on at least 2 occasions to save him from his own selfish actions), (b) appear to be actively engaged in bringing about the torture and death of the man and his group of friends, and (c) are the same people who kidnapped his child.

4. After being captured, the man's captors do nothing to change his perception of them as ruthless killers and torturers. He clearly believes them to be heinous, inhuman criminals, intent on the destruction of all who oppose them (or, even come anywhere near them). So what does he do? He agrees to: (a) go back to the headquarters of his friends, (b) bring about (by force, deceit, or otherwise) the release of one of the captors' agents, who is currently being detained by his friends, and (c) bring certain of his friends (he is given a list of 5 names, his friends, several of whom, as noted above, risked their lives to save his on multiple occasions) to a remote location so that they can be ambushed by his captors who, as noted above, he believes to be the most thoroughly vicious, heinous, inhuman, monstrous type of characters imaginable.

5. Not only does the man agree to do these things, he actually does them! First, he goes back to where his friends are and tells them a bunch of lies. Then, he MURDERS 2 of them, both unarmed and unsuspecting. He then releases the enemy prisoner, injures himself to make it look like he was the prisoner's victim, and makes up a bunch more lies to tell the rest of his friends when they appear on the scene. THEN, he deviously convinces the 5 people from the list (his friends, who risked their lives, etc etc) to go with him to ostensibly "avenge" the deaths of the 2 others who he himself just murdered in a most cowardly fashion(!), all the while intending to turn them over to their enemies (vile and unspeakably cruel murderers, torturers, etc etc etc)

6. During the journey the man and his friends undertake to "avenge" their fallen comrades, the man is presented with a tailor-made opportunity to come clean and atone for his various transgressions. He does not, but rather goes ahead and turns his friends (probably the only people who have ever actually befriended him or lent a hand to help him in his whole life) over to the enemy (odious and loathsome persons who, well, neverf***ingmind).

So this is what the guy did. (You may recognize his story.) I have attemped a very objective account of his nefarious doings in the hope that you, the reader, will supply your opinion as to whether his actions are good, bad, or indifferent. Selfish? Evil? Heroic? Believing also, of course, that your opinion will coincide with my own (hopefully) well-concealed views on the subject.

Even Idiots Can Blog, Apparently

Hi. I'm the Hick Town Rap Star /slash/ Hip Hop Lawyer. As I write this, I am forced to consider the "Wintry Mix" mixing outside. Forced, because all my various media-to-brain inputs are simultaneously broadcasting its presence. But I continue to blog, unabated.

Now that I have understanding of blog posting, soon I will have understanding of posting pictures and links, and when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of html...

"Robert: Understanding of what, master?

Evil Genius: Digital watches. And soon I will have understanding of videocassette recorders and car telephones. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers. And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being! God isn't interested in technology. He knows nothing of the potential of the microchip or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time: forty-three species of parrots!"