Exact Approximations

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

5 Interestingly Irrelevant Fun Facts

Sometimes legal research brings unanticipated, unwanted and completely unnecessary knowledge. Here are today's examples:
  1. Polar bears are always left-handed. I'm left-handed, so I feel a personal connection with this information.
  2. Baby humans are born without kneecaps, those develop later. Heads up to those of you who like to kick newborns in the knee.
  3. It takes approximately 850 peanuts to make an 8oz jar of peanut butter. But how many strawberries to make a jar of jam...
  4. Hey calorie counters: Your obsessive ass is consuming 1/10 of a calorie every time you lick a stamp. If you lick five, you'd better head to the bathroom and induce vomiting. Fattie.
  5. Average human loses 40-100 strands of hair per day. Unless you have trichotillomania, in which case you lose much more than that. And you are 40-100 times more likely to be an absolute and complete nutbar.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


So I got a job. Medical malpractice. Not exactly what I was looking for, paywise or otherwise...

A bit about ups and downs of the job (so far)

On the downside:

  • First few days entailed "getting a feel" for some of our bigger cases. Standard review-type stuff: pleadings, depositions, medical records... I was lovin' up on a medical dictionary the way a 1L loves up on Black's Law Dictionary. Like learning another language. A multi-syllabic, complicated language that no one would learn for fun.
  • Every day my heart breaks just a little. I cried, at one point or another, every day during my first week. Gore, blood, catastrophic injuries, needles, veins... these are the reasons I decided against medical school. Well, that and my hatred for math - I'm not alone on this. 5 out of 4 people have real problems understanding fractions.
  • One hour daily commute. I don't mind commuting, unless it's during 100+ degree weather in a 1986 Ford Piecer with no air conditioning
  • My boss is determined to undo all progress I have made towards perfect law school legal writing. Pulled me aside and told me I don't use the word "that" enough. That is such crap.
  • I think maybe the secretaries don't like me so much, I'm not sure yet so I'm playing it cool for now. Actionable analysis pending.
  • Shit coffee. This is really a regional gripe; Arizona coffee just doesn't compare to what you can find in the Bay Area.
  • The huge office I was told was mine is actually just the huge office next to mine. Something about a contract attorney that will be staying on for awhile longer. It wouldn't bother me save it was put in my head during the interview. Then I got all imaginarily-comfortable in my office; I already knew where pictures of Daughter were going to go... It's a bit like eating a generic brand chocolate bar while smelling the Ghiradelli store across the street. Actually, it's nothing like that, but I seriously smell the Ghiradelli store across the street right now... Yummy.

On the plus side:

  • My boss is a solo-practitioner and a rock star. No 20 attorney case review meetings. No fellow fresh-law newbies for me to destroy and play shark with. When I interviewed with other firms and they asked me who else I was considering, I mentioned my boss and they were all impressed. One guy even said he often gets cases when my boss refers out stuff he doesn't want to take. That firm got scratched off my list just for being dumb enough to say something so stupid.
  • I'm also told it means I'll be getting face time in court, taking depositions, and drinking scotch with co-counsel not long after my bar certification comes through. The trial experience factor was enough to negate my "Med Mal Reform will Leave me Unemployed in Four Years" fears.
  • Hospital staff, nurses and doctors suddenly treat me like royalty. Daughter's Father was hospitalized during my first week at work, with no health insurance. Once word got out that I was in MedMal law, the quality of his care shot through the roof. Huge relief on a practical level. Disturbing on a philosophical level.
  • I have a super-cool photograph security badge that I have to swipe to get into the building and elevators. Perhaps not so interesting, but I think it's neato. Plus, I can call the building people if I need to come into work during non-business hours, and they will cool th building for me before I get here. I can't imagine ever, ever using that - but it's pretty cool to know it's there.
  • Flat rate WestLaw. I had to do "cost effective research" at an old job, it was bullshit. This is way better. I'm on WestLaw right now.
  • I'm a good guy!!! The cases taken on by this firm are legitimate assertions of terrible, scary conduct on the part of doctors. I was a little scared at first that Med Mal was all about minimally meritorious attempts to settle against insurance policy limits. I think that is a big problem in this area of the law, but so far all of the cases I've been working on are really just heartwrenching examples of medical arrogance and disregard.

Well, there are the first impressions. We shall see how this goes.

Lace up your running shoes kids, ambulances are fast.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Blame Blogger. Well, maybe not so much.

In response to comments I've received, there was no problem late July or early August with Blogger not updating my posts on time. As much as I appreciate my peeps assuming that I wasn't the cause of the problem, I now formally admit it was the result of my failure to timely publish my posts.

And now comes my long-winded excuse.

Before I found a house to live in here in Arizona, I was hijacking internet connections from hotel parking lots. Hijacked hotel parking lot wireless connections suck, and I learned quickly not to type a post and then try to save. Resultantly, I ended up starting posts in Word and then publishing them later. I kept the original write-dates though, to make for easier reading.

My bad.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

House of Sand and Smog

Found myself fascinated with the amazing sundowns here in Arizona. Definitely one of my favorite things about desert life. Pointing out my favorite purples and oranges in the horizon, Daughter's Father smiled, nuzzling his face in my hair. Then he whispered "Chemical Sunset" and kissed my cheek. Only he could make pollution romantic.

On another note, turns out the unbearable, old-people-killing heat that infests this Phoenix Desert takes a small break for a few brief weeks each year. This month, I am learning all about Monsoon Season. Rain the size of golfballs. Horizontal lightening strikes playing connect the dots with Super Wal-Marts and Mormon Temples as far as you can see. With no notice, the entire sky becomes dark gray, winds pick up to tree-ripping speeds and then BLAM! Insanity. Storms like I have never seen, not even in my Missourri days! Everything goes haywire for about half an hour and then it is gone, like it never came at all save in my imagination. Kinda neat.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

You Can Find Me In the Club

Pettifogger wins the Saturday Superhero Award for getting me into the G-Mail crew.

Thanks meng -- much appreciation. Another plus is that now I know about your blog. My remaining three readers should check him out at Pettifoggery - especially you BlawG freaks (I'm talking to you Arbusto - with your new blogger account and it's super-cool template. Nice color scheme man, good form =)


Friday, August 05, 2005

G-Mail - G-Mail. Where for art thou G-Mail?

Now, I realize I only have 4 readers.

But if any of you four can invite me to get GMail, I would be super-stoked.

Recently got internet -will be back regularly soon.