Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cuteness Level: Elevated

As this is Ada's first Christmas, Kat is working hard to ensure that it is a memorable one. For us, I guess, because I doubt Ada is going to remember it. Anyway, we took her to see Santa at the Prescott Gateway Mall and the results were pretty good. She was an excellent baby throughout.

We also bought a Christmas tree (a 5-foot Noble fir -- which means it is a tree that is highly unlikely to react with other trees (chemistry joke!)) and decorated it nicely. I broke only one of Kat's ornaments to which she is sentimentally attached, and now we have a nice tree next to our nice currently inoperable fireplace.

This is Ada struggling with ornament/food confusion.

Anyway, Christmas has arrived, and the cold, snowy weather helps to make it feel like Christmas. Today, Ada and I went shopping for some Christmas presents while Kat went to a movie. We did pretty well with the shopping, and Ada, as usual, was an excellent companion.

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

That's the Last Time I Listen to Ken Jennings

I recently finished reading Maphead by Ken Jennings, which is an excellent book if you are a nerd for maps. I'm sort of a map nerd (I passed many hours on long car rides looking at the Rand McNally atlas, which Ken Jennings said he also did as a kid - however, I think our similarities end there), but I'm not truly a map nerd.

But in the book, Jennings has a chapter about how he briefly got addicted to geocaching, so I thought I should give it a try. Well, that try was this morning, and I was terrible. I logged a total of zero geocaches, although I was close to about 10 different ones. I liked following the coordinates and hiking to different spots, but I'm helpless at finding things. Kat regularly calls me "the worst looker ever," and I probably should have known geocaching was not for me when I couldn't find the GPS in Kat's car (which is not large) prior to going geocaching. In the end, I'm going to stick with hiking but leave out the part where I try to find a film canister in a tree. I think it works just as well.

Ada did look cute in her geocaching outfit, but that was about the only good thing about it.

Now it's time for a new segment on the blog called: Funny Things in Old Arizona Case Law. Before you skip down to the rest (trust me, there isn't going to be anything better, I'm afraid) you should give this a chance. I've got two really funny cases I've run across as a result of my day job, and I think you'll enjoy them.***

The first is Fought v. Fought, 94 Ariz. 187, 382 P.2d 667 (1963). This is an Arizona Supreme Court case, and the names alone are funny, and it's funny that the Foughts got divorced. But the best part is the first sentence where it explains that the wife received a default divorce because while Mrs. Fought fought, Mr. Fought didn't fight. Mr. Fought's failure to fight forced default, and Mrs. Fought got a lot.

The second is better than the first (how could it not be?) and involves a situation where the Arizona Court of Appeals missed an absolutely golden opportunity to put in a funny footnote. The case is State v. Hansen, 117 Ariz. 496, 573 P.2d 896 (App. 1977). In the case, Hansen was sitting next to a man who was smoking a "marijuana cigarette." A police officer came up to the men, arrested them both, and then searched Hansen and found a baggie of marijuana. Hansen moved to suppress the marijuana for lack of probable cause to arrest because the officer never saw him smoking anything. While explaining the law regarding these types of situations, the Court writes: "As is well illustrated in a line of California cases, there must be some indication of 'joint activity,' or 'joint participation." Here is where the footnote should be. You have to acknowledge the humor, but the Court chooses not to. The Court reversed the trial court and held the marijuana had to be suppressed. The final sentence of the opinion -- offered entirely without irony states: "There was not, in this case, any showing of 'joint activity' on the part of appellant." Yes, there was plenty of "joint activity," it just was not by Hansen.

If I ever become a judge who actually writes opinions (and that is extremely unlikely) I would dd funny footnotes as often as possible. I think judges owe it to the people who actually slog through what they write.

***Note: You won't enjoy them and they aren't funny. What is funny to lawyers is so far removed from actual humor that it's not even the same thing. I've long been working on a word for stories and jokes that lawyers think are funny that really aren't, but I haven't been able to come up with it.

Kat and I have been talking a lot about food we used to enjoy that we can't get anymore. The list includes things like Bojangles chicken, the potato oles bravo at Taco John's, Runzas, the food at Mina's Thai, and Century Sundae, a limited Blue Bell ice cream flavor sold to celebrate 100 years of Blue Bell ice cream (the problem is that its centennial was in 2007, I think, and we have not had it since). We call this noshtalgia. It's been pretty strong lately, but I keep hoping to find new foods to look back on fondly.

I've been reading the new Neal Stephenson tome, Reamde, but I took a break to read Maphead and Moonwalking with Einstein, a book about people who are able to remember just about everything. The memory book is great, but I keep forgetting which chapter I'm on.

It's beautiful in Prescott today, which is, of course, why I'm in the house blogging. I'm thinking of hiking Granite Mountain tomorrow. I have not done it before, and it looks like a pretty good workout.

Kat and I have been enjoying a new television show called Up All Night, which is about hip people whose lives are changed by having a baby. Other than being hip, we are right in the demographic. It was, at times, bad in the beginning, but the last few episodes have been pretty funny. It's on Hulu, so you might want to give it a shot.

Ada remains very cute, but she doesn't seem to want to sleep very much. I still like her quite a bit, though.

I've written a decidedly terrible legal annotation to The Cat in the Hat that explains all of the torts committed by the Cat. I started just doing this for fun when I would read to Ada, and she seemed to really enjoy it. However, what might have been a fun novelty while reading to a baby doesn't really hold up at full book length. If anyone is seeking some punishment and would like all of the footnotes I wrote, let me know. You'll have to find your own copy of The Cat in the Hat (it's kind of like a Rifftrax in that respect) but I'll gladly show you what I've got.

Well, that's all I've got. I hope this satiates GpaG.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Leave it all up in the air

There's cute, and then there's Ada cute!

Today Ada is 75 days old. I have not been counting, but the iPad, which may be moving closer and closer to sentience, informed me of this fact. That means if Ada were to live a full natural life based on current generally accepted actuarial tables, she has one year to live for each day she has been alive. Based on those same actuarial estimates, I would be around for approximately 45 of those 75 years. That's 60 percent. I don't know if I've "been around" for 60 percent of the things she has done in her first 75 days. I've seen a lot in person and a lot on video. I know I won't see everything, but I'm glad to be able to experience as much as I have. I have to enjoy it now before she figures out how lame I am. By the time she's 2 I think she will want nothing to do with me.

Lloyd is back! Truly quite exciting. He was in Iraq, right?

Boom! 1990s on you! Running the option, macking on cupcakes!

More for Lloyd whether he is reading or not: Derogatory nicknames I should have come up with at the end of last season for Nebraska's young QB who seemed to get dropped behind the line of scrimmage with some regularity: T-Minus 10 or T-Sacks. (that last one is also for Keith and Shaleah!).

Speaking of "young" college football players, I say it every year but I'll say it once again to ole' Brent Musburger: it's redundant to call a college football player young. They are all young. Thanks, pardner.

Brent is so ubiquitous that even when I watch a game on mute I can "hear" his brand of homespun nonsensicalness in my own brain. I don't know what this says about me, but I am happy about the return of college football because it just means more and better and @edsbs on twitter. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I invented awesomeness!

Unknown danger of watching the US Open on television: your wife will point out how little you have accomplished in your life. The match: Federer vs. Cilic. The question: how old is Federer? My misguided answer: we're about the same age. Her response: you two have had vastly different lives. The subtext that hit like a sledgehammer: are you ever planning to achieve anything? I tried to comfort myself by focusing on the fact that Federer's greatest successes are already behind him while mine are still to come but it just ended with gentle sobbing. I watched Federer win the match easily. Followed by more gentle sobbing.

I'm excited for Lloyd and Katie's wedding! Truly quite exciting. The wedding is in New Mexico, right?

Recently learned how to ride a two-wheeler!

Prescott is a wonderful place. It's my nirvana because it has nice weather and fun things to do that are close by and inexpensive. For a cheapskate like me the opportunity to hike and bike in the woods for little or no money is great. However I'm not the best bicyclist around. This looks worse than it was.

Ada has made things quite a bit different but in a good way. We've undergone some pretty big changes recently but we were going to have big changes whether she was around or not. Moving, starting a new job, taking care of an infant, hosting relatives, and living in a new place was a lot all at once, but we came through it pretty well. It's one way to avoid boredom. I'm sure we are going to do some of those things again in the future, but I have no intention of ever doing more than one at a time ever again.

I like our house. It has more decks than the USS Nimitz. (not actually true)

Keith and Ada on one of aforementioned decks!

For the first 70 days of her life, Ada went to sleep to a Beatles lullaby CD. You wouldn't think anyone could tire of the Fab Four, but if I hear Octopus's Garden one more time I think I might snap. (Quick digression: why are an Octopus's arms called tentacles? Doesn't eightacles make a little more sense?) We've moved on to Mazzy Star (whatever that is) for lullaby music, so I have received a temporary reprieve. I will note that Ada does not seem to have any reaction when we play "her song." (Or when we play Your Song because we've tried both). I hope she can soon identify and dislike the song she was named after, so she can come up with some alternate explanation for her name that she prefers.

I'm excited Lloyd got back in time for the Husker football season! Truly quite exciting. Nebraska is in the Mountain West now, right?

I'm not sure that joke is even working, but it's not for a lack of commitment! It's in there now, so it stays.

Now that I've written enough that I'm sure no one is still reading, I want to get serious with you. Ada is an awesome baby. She's cool. She has opinions. She likes all the same stuff I like. (Or I do the stuff I like near her and she puts up with it with only moderate crying) I can't recommend her highly enough. It's no great achievement to be a parent. And your progeny's successes probably have less to do with you than you think. The same goes for failures. There's plenty of randomness at work. So I don't take pride in Ada and I don't plan to, but I do get plenty of joy. I'm just happy I get to hang out with her (and the law says I can hang out with her until she is 18 and there is little she can do about it!).