Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Benefits of Mass Emails

You can warn each other of traps that police set to catch speeding drivers.  Although I guess you could categorize this as mischief, it's mischief of the helpful type.  Email of the day:
The motorcycle cop has been hiding near the law school a lot lately writing tickets to students (end of the month, I guess). So be on the look out. He seems to be hiding the most at the stop sign near the track stadium on the shortcut road between Hackberry and the parking lot.  Also, he has been getting speeders on Bryant behind Newk's and near the main entrance to the law school.
Thank you!

So True

In Contracts yesterday we had some visitors.  I think they were college students visiting the law school, and they went to Contracts to see what a typical law school class was like.  It was not a typical class.

Right in the middle when Prof. Marsh was speaking, the power suddenly went out.  The batteries on our laptops kicked in and the only light in the room was the blue glow from illuminating our faces from our screens.  Prof. Marsh quipped, "Today's the day we have visitors, and now they probably think we didn't pay our power bill last month."

But my favorite comment was from my friend Felipe.
Prof. Marsh: Did the wireless internet go out too?
Felipe: No, thank God.  Now that would REALLY freak us out.
So true.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

An Unmarried Woman

Is this just in the South?  I've been looking through the documents pertaining to our house.  My parents bought it, but my name is on the deed.  But guess what phrase is also on the deed:

A hand paid by the grantees herein, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the same grantor does by these presents, grant, bargain, sell and convey unto... Sharon Elizabeth Nichols, an unmarried woman,...

Is that relevant at all?  Do they do that in other states?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Update

On Friday I saw the first print copy of the book.  It's one thing to work on a book by putting together pictures and captions on a computer, but it's way more exciting to see your work actually in print.  St. Martin's (the publisher) sent me a draft copy to look over, and so far it looks great.

Since it is a book about grammar, I'm taking my time to look over it carefully and make sure there are no mistakes.  It would be incredibly embarrassing for the book to go to print and then for us to discover that there's a misplaced comma or a word spelled incorrectly (can you imagine?).  There is no spell check accurate enough for this.  

The release date is still set for September 29, 2009, and you can pre-order the book on Amazon.  Go ahead and do it.  You know you want to!

Valentine's Day

The worst part of two holidays, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day, is the expectation that the day (or evening) will be spectacular.  People always seem to have sky-high expectations for those two days, and since those expectations usually aren't met, we get disappointed.  

My Valentine's Day this year was the exception.  I'm with the "Valentine's Day is a holiday made up by Hallmark to sell cards and little teddy bears (for WAAAYY too much money)" camp, and all I expect from the day is maybe one rose.  This year, we went out to eat at a new place in Tuscaloosa.  The food was great and at the end of the meal, I got two roses.  My expectations were exceeded, so it was a wonderful Valentine's Day.  

How was yours?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

iPhone Blogging

So I got an iPhone last week, and this is my first attempt at blogging from it. We'll see how it works!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


As a philosophy major in college, we were always making up words to describe concepts that we wrote about.  You know how Word underlines non-words, and you can right click and select "add to dictionary"?  I had to do that all the time in college, and now I'm finding that we have to do the same thing in law school.  These aren't fictional words to the same extent as philosophy words were, but I guess they're unconventional enough to be left out of Word's dictionary.

Here's a list of the words (or "words") that Word doesn't recognize, just from today so far:
  • Promisor
  • Promisee
  • Promissory
  • Disaffirmance
  • Appellee
  • Estop
  • Estopped
Those are just from today, and I'm sure I'll find many more to add to that list.

ADDED:  One of the commenters found more legal "words" to add to the list.
  • Dilectual
  • Dispositive
  • Liberative

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Grand Central

In my post about the business card problem, a commenter suggested that I use Google's Grand Central.  The problem is, I need an invitation from a current user to join.  Anybody willing?  If so, my email address is Senichols[at]gmail[dot]com.  Thanks!


The Facebook group got a shout-out from MSNBC in an article about how stress from the economy is pushing "spelling snobs over the edge."  Here's our small part:

But these newly hip word warriors are doing more than writing odes to apostrophes and posting tips for people who don’t know their like or as from a hole in the ground.

The 350,000-member Facebook group “I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar” encourages its members to “seek out the infidels (grammar offenders) and … document their acts of terror. Take pictures and post them in this group to serve as examples to all.”

Kinda cool, even if they did call us snobs.  

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Picture's Worth

Michael Phelps gets caught, and ends up apologizing for, a picture being circulated in which he's using a bong.  (Yes, you got me; I read Perez Hilton.)  

I've often wondered what's going to happen to all those ill-advised Facebook pictures when my generation starts holding political office.  It's starting right now, actually.  I'm 24, and the youngest congressman currently in office is Adam Putnam, the 27-year old from Florida's 12th district. [The GW Hatchet] I'd say he qualifies as being in my generation.  

So was Putnam just more forward-thinking, wiser than the rest of us in his college days?  Those pictures of Joe or Jane doing a keg stand don't just disappear.  My guess is if they don't catch up with Mr. Putnam, they will start haunting other young people with political ambitions very soon.

The next question is this: How will that type of picture be categorized by the public?  Will they be brushed off as a mistake of youth, something that most of us engaged in and then grew out of, or will they be blown up and held as evidence that a particular person is unfit for office?  President Obama didn't have to deal with the proliferation of cameras that are around now, but he was candid about his drug use, and now he's president.  That's evidence that the public is holding public officials to the lower, albeit more realistic, standards to which most of us hold our peers.  

But photographs have a different effect on the senses than words do.  Would a picture of President Obama snorting that line of white powder have had the same effect as his verbal admission?  The picture would have had a more powerful negative effect, right?

I guess we'll see in the next few years.  The moral of the story?  It's the same as my dad always told me growing up: Don't do anything that you wouldn't do with your parents standing behind you.  My own addendum: For goodness' sake, don't do it in public.  


How important is a phone number on a business card for a writer?  I just ordered new business cards about a week ago, but unfortunately, I had to change my number unexpectedly a few days ago and the new cards have my old phone number on it.  Should I just suck it up and order new ones?