Sunday, December 07, 2014

Catching up

Finding my old blog is sort of like a time capsule. Thinking of where I left off in 2008 has made me realize how much change has occurred since my writing trailed off into the law school sunset. Day-to-day, I feel no different and as if nothing much has been accomplished; however, looking at the last 6 years has started giving me perspective.

 Here's a sample of what's gone on in my life since November, 2008:

  • My first child was born
  • I graduated law school
  • I passed the California State Bar
  • I backpacked across Europe for a month with my wife
  • I've visited Japan 4 times and hiked Mt. Fuji
  • I've run 5 marathons
  • I've assembled and now manage a great team at work, turning a failing company around to record sales (during a financial crisis)
  • I host a podcast that has been listened to over 35,000 times
  • My diet has changed to become mostly vegan
  • I found my love for trumpet and music again
I list these things not to boast, but for my own personal reflection. We tend to dwell on our mistakes and our missed opportunities.

2008 was a low point for many. There was a financial crisis. Jobs were lost. Wars were fought. 

Like many, my house was worth half of what we bought it for (and close to half of what we still owed on it). I had a harder time working for free as a lawyer than I did as a musician.Our investments and retirement accounts were slashed in half and then some.

I wish now that I had focused my energy more on the list above, and not the negative things that were surrounding me. 

Now, when the going gets tough or the forecast is dismal, I can refer to this list and the period in history these things occurred and hopefully find the joy and the drive to progress easier.

Back in the Saddle

It's been 6 years since I've blogged. I think it's time to start again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


While he has a long (I mean loooong) way to go, Obama has done some simple, yet paradigm shifting things that may change the relationship between government and the People. Many of these things are just an extension of the way he ran his campaign, but the fact that he apparently intends to continue connecting to the People is both exciting and ground-breaking.

First, he has a website at which has a blog, news updates and an area where you can share your vision of America. I'm usually pretty cynical and apathetic when it comes to government, but I was really moved by the site and thought about what my vision of America is. Then I realized I did not have a vision and that I probably should. My goal now (in between study sessions), is to formulate my vision for America to submit.

Second, Obama is now posting the weekly Democratic radio address on YouTube (and other video sites), and plans to continue doing this once his presidency starts. The only times I've heard a weekly radio address are those odd occasions that 1) I have to drive somewhere early weekend mornings, and 2) I happen to have the radio on and tuned to a news station. I have a feeling I'm in the majority on this one.

While my cynical subconscious still questions the motivations of a government where both parties are funded by big oil, big pharma, and big tobacco (with the NRA in there somewhere), this simple reaching out to the public by Obama has softened me.

I hope both sides of this government-to-public connection fulfill their duties. This should just be the beginning for a more transparent and public-friendly government, and the public needs to maintain its sense of efficacy that it had on Nov. 4th.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What to do?

What do you do when you know you need to do a task (in my case study), but don't know where to start, nor do you really have the focus or determination to start even if you did know where?

Here's my list:

  • check email
  • catch up on favorite bloggers
  • check the news
  • check facebook
  • change facebook status
  • read your friends' statuses
  • comment on those statuses
  • write a blog
I've come to the end of my list only because the list is being made in real time and I don't know what I'll do next. Maybe I'll start studying. Maybe I'll make a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Maybe I'll start writing a novel.

Its funny how I have motivation when there is nothing to do, like sitting in class or on the drive home. "I'm going to spend all weekend studying and really get a handle on my exam prep!"

Maybe that's the difference between me and, say, every successful person out there.

I wonder if Barack Obama delayed the start of his campaign because he did not know where to start (and breaking wildfire coverage was on the news...and he couldn't concentrate because his cat was wheezing).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Can a.....

Google for a while now has predicted search terms as you type in the search box. Today I was searching for "Can a state court apply Federal Rule 42(b) to separate claims" and only got four letters in when I stopped and hit the floor laughing.

This is what it predicted (warning: somewhat offensive and probably not suitable for work):

PS - The bottom suggestion, while not what I was looking for originally, grabbed my attention as that is exactly what I was thinking before I got married.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bittersweet Victory

Last night, for the first time in years I felt proud to be an American. Unfortunately, about an hour later, I was utterly ashamed to be a Californian:

How can a state be more concerned with the welfare of its chickens (Prop 2 overwhelmingly approved by 63.2%) than the fundamental rights of a human being (passage of Prop 8)?

I am all for freedom of religion - but when your religion tells me what I can and cannot do, infringing on my natural right to be free and independent, to enjoy life and liberty - that is where I draw the line.

Marriage is sacred in your religion and is defined as being between a man and a woman? Great! Have all the religious ceremonies full of scripture and symbols and weird blessed liquids and ointments that your heart desires! Just leave me and my friends out of it.

I have a friend of the Hindu faith. He believes the cow is sacred (I admit here that I am part Hindu: the part that thinks highly of the cow, but not the part that refrains from eating it). Should he start a campaign to add an amendment to our Constitution banning the consumption of veal and beef on the grounds that it is immoral?

That scenario sounds absurd and even laughable, but is directly analogous to what occurred in California under Proposition 8. The only distinguishing factor between the two is that my dear Hindu friend is probably not in the majority, therefore his Prop probably won't pass.

But that distinguishing factor leads me to even more anguish. Since when is it O.K. for a majority to gang up on a minority to rape them of their inalienable rights? The fact that a majority of our nation (or state, in this case) is Christian does not assume that we follow their rules. Equally wrong is the justification that because our founding fathers were Christian, our laws should emulate Christian tenets. First, that fact is debatable, and second, it leads us directly down the same legislative intent path that justified the abhorrent Dred Scott decision.

History is an excellent tool for learning from our mistakes, but to blindly use it as a crutch to validate religious beliefs does nothing but slow our progression towards a true liberty. If anything, history should show us that we have a penchant for discrimination, and that realization, in turn, should expedite our evolution of social mores.

There is still hope. USC Law Professor David Cruz is a leading expert on same-sex marriage issues. His latest blog entry explains, at least legally, our next step.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I'm going out on a limb....

....and calling this election for Obama.

Remember, you heard it hear first! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please do your part...

...and let's rid this nation of the phrase "at the end of the day." A day does not go by when I don't hear that cliche multiple times from professors, news anchors, politicians, pundits. I beg of you, come up with something different. The only thing that happens at the end of the day is you brush your teeth and go to sleep...or something along those lines. So let's leave it it that. Then, when it's all said and done, we can sleep easily.