Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Color in Odd Places

When I think about getting the best Fall colors, I definitely don't think about the local office parking garage.  But, that's where I happen to be these days, when the color is at its best.  In fact, the lat several days the garage has had this really cool pink/red glow near one of the exits, from the morning sun backlighting a tree with great color.

Here's the tree:

Here's the cool pink glow in the garage from the tree.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

For the longest time, carving pumpkins has been one of my favorite artistic outlets. I picked it up from my Dad, who is a master at the use of light and shadow to make the best designs. Here is this year's lineup:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Punch

Our neighborhood puts on a cool Halloween Fair every year. The punch was a particularly inspired creation!

The green hands are colored water placed in surgical gloves, then frozen, and removed from the glove before dropping in the punch. The red rings are actually gummy teeth. Unfortunately, they floated teeth-side down, but it was still a nice effect.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Vulture

American Black Vultures (and their cousins, Turkey Vultures) are probably the most common large bird in this area, most likely due to the volume of roadkill on area roads. They're not all that attractive up close, but they're big birds, and they soar very gracefully. I'll put up an enlarged and more tightly cropped picture later, but for now, click on the link for a much better look at this bird's wing feathers.

UPDATE: Fixed the picture.

Fauquier County

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008


This is impressive camera work. It really gives the viewer a window into the final 500 meters of one of the biggest prizes in the world of the sprinters of the Tour de France.

When Steegmans (the winner) really decides to commit to making his move, his acceleration is an enormous application of power. Wow. I love how he's managing traffic, keeping his vision to the finish clear, developing a slight gap to his lead-out man...and the how he uses that gap to slingshot himself into his sprint. Watch as Steegmans rounds the corner, inches up closer to his lead-out man, (seconds 34-38), sort of pokes his nose into the wind (moving slightly to the right)...and then lights the fuse (second 39). Once he's started his sprint, watch how smooth his body and pedalstroke are. He never fades and his style never gets ragged.

Sprinting from behind an organized lead-out is a very specialized skill. It is not easy, at all. But the way Steegmans does it here, you might never know it. This is very impressive.

Oh, and figure his top speed is somewhere between 42 and 45 mph.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Imagine a world where you have a right to free healthcare. You don't have to work for it, someone else provides it for you. Free.

Imagine a world here you have a right to housing. Again, provided by someone else. Free of charge. And a right to food. A legally enforceable right to a "living" wage, and so on.

Only it’s not something for nothing. “Free” health-care costs us something precious, and it's not something you'll hear about in the media or on college campuses or in our country's law schools (which is an almost unbelievable state of affairs). All of these things are only free, because the payment is something that is literally priceless.

Because there’s a word for someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them… for people who owe their existence to someone else.

And that word is “slaves.”

So, what price are you willing to pay?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

And Now, Back To Our Regular Programming

Justice Delayed

This blog is not normally about current events, but in this case, I'm going to break with my convention. Because, I've just gotta say, FINALLY!

O.J. convicted on all counts, faces life in prison.

I was in Law School during the "O.J. trial." And, the reason for this post is that I was taking Criminal Procedure from a certain Gerald Uelmen. Uelmen, as you probably don't know, was the brief-writing brains behind Johnny Cochran and the rest of O.J.'s legal dream team. He was the white haired, older guy with the white mustache who was frequently sitting behind the defendant's table.

I can only tell you that, much to my dismay, the quality of my professors went downhill after leaving high school. And by the time I got to Law School, the ratio of truly dedicated "educators" - people who teach you how to learn - had dwindled to the point where I had two "excellent" professors in all of Law School. The rest were awful. And Uelmen was the worst of the bad. He was an intellectually dishonest. He belittled students in class, he was smug, arrogant, and he was incapable of teaching anything that wasn't straight-up propaganda.

If you agreed with him - even if he was objectively wrong - he showered praise on you. If you disagreed with him, or he got any whiff that you were challenging his "politics" he would unleash on you. He would accuse you of being racist. Or a misogynist, or whatever crude insult he could cobble together. The guy was incapable of restraining himself from attacking his students with vicious personal attacks and insults. Think about that. In a classroom, full of students paying $30,000 plus per year, this professor would regularly employ the "politics of personal destruction" like he was in a barfight. If you were: white, male, or excerised even the tiniest bit of non-conformist thinking, that was three strikes in his book...and that was all he needed to ruin your grade and maybe your career.

And if you thought he was bad before and during the O.J. trial, you should have seen him after he won.

The one good thing to come of my experience with Gerald Uelmen? He prepared me for dealing with the dishonest, low-down, lying, underhanded scumbag lawyers and judges I would later encounter in the profession. And, in some small way, he's partially responsible for my happily calling myself a "recovering attorney" today. I got out before being a lawyer ate my soul. Can't say the same for Mr. Uelmen.

p.s. If you want a flavor of how sick Uelmen truly is, go read the first link, the Frontline interview. He blatantly states that any white person who thought O.J. was guilty is a racist.

All I can tell you is that I'm *still* having a very hard time not typing out a string of profanity at him.