Friday, April 28, 2006

Another Day, Another Reason to Boycott China

This article was in the Seattle Times today. I particularly love the fact that China is cozying up to other repressive regimes like Sudan and Zimbabwe. They are just out there doing so much good in the world . . .

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A To Do List for while David is in Australia

Since I will have some free time on my hands, here is my to do list for the next 6 days while David is in Australia:

1. Study more French for my impending Paris trip.

2. Exercise every day.

3. Actually learn the law for areas that I profess that I know for purposes of cases which are sitting on my desk.

4. Boycott China - This is the big one. Ever since the President of China came to the US and made a stopover in Seattle to be woed and admired by Boeing and Microsoft executives I have felt like throwing up all over China. At the Boeing plant Hu Jintao had executives hugging him and shouting, "China Rocks!" Bill Gates invited him over for a special dinner. I am sure it is the start of another plan for the Chinese government to find a way to get manufacturing jobs exported to China. Boeing workers should be worried. Today China may be buying Boeing planes, but tomorrow they probably will be manufacturing them. I mean if these US Business leaders have no conscience when it comes to kissing the ass of a repressive regime in order to make a few bucks, then I am sure that their descent down the morality slippery slope will soon have them believing that its okay to have a manufacturing plant with poor working conditions and substandard wages.
But I am also pissed off at China for their complete and utter lack of regard for the rest of the world when it comes to their gasoline prices. China's gas prices are some of the lowest in the world, even though their increasing demand for gasoline is probably one of the factors why oil prices have been hitting record highs. I guess that is just annoying to me because the rest of the world is basically subsidizing China's economic development right now, whether we want to or not. I try to be generous with my funds with those that are less fortunate than me, but the fact that China has no regard for common international standards when it comes to human rights, environmental laws, freedoms of speech and religion, and a host of other things just makes me slightly more annoyed everytime I go to the gas pump and think about gas prices in Shanghai. Therefore, effective immediately, I am boycotting products made in China. I guess that means I will have to continue to keep my life Walmart free!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Very Utah Easter

I was in Utah for Easter weekend with David's family. David drove down on Thursday and I joined him in Utah after flying down Friday afternoon. Here is some advice for a good Easter in Utah experience:

1. Do not Fly Southwest Airlines to get to Utah - I saw this mostly as future advice for myself. I don't care how much cheaper the ticket is. I will be forced to sit next to the person on the plane that is so large that Southwest should have forced her to buy two airline tickets. She will be unable to put the armrests down that surround her seat. She will take up half of your seat. You will only have one half of your seat on which to sit. You will be sticking out into the aisle and the flight attendants will hit you every time they pass you. She will be the last person to get on the plane which means there will be not other seats to which you can move. You will feel guilty for not feeling pity and sadness for her and instead feel anger and resentment, even fear because she cannot wear her seatbelt and you know in the event of a plan emergency, you will die because she will literally suffocate you with her body weight. It will be miserable.

2. Do see old friends whom you love and miss dearly - Particularly if your friend is named Charelle, because you know that she is one of the coolest girls on the planet. I not only got to see Charelle, and meet her boyfriend, Carl, but I also was able to eat at Cafe Rio with Charelle and Carl. After dinner and dessert, David indulged me for a trip down to Provo so I could also see my friend Neil and his wonderful wife, Sherisa. I love hanging out with Neil because it makes me feel like I am 22 again and I can stay up until 4:00 in the morning talking about every subject on the planet, from medical ailments and drug treatments, to war protests, to what to do in Paris. Such great friends and great conversation!

3. Do enjoy some bowling - My senior year at BYU I went bowling with some group including the following individuals at least one night per week: Brett, Brandon, Neil, Kenny, Eric, Christian, Kelly, my Sunshine House roommates, or the Brick House Girls. We did it so often that I actually began averaging a score of 120 each time. Now I am out of practice and bowl extremely poorly, but if nothing else, bowling is always a great way to enjoy some family time and an appropriate venue to play Lynard Skynard on the jukebox. Lucky for me, David's mom enjoys discounts on bowling because her boss also owns the local Tremonton bowling alley. The picture below shows David and his niece Abby in the foreground and his dad, mom, and brother, Travis, behind:

4. Do enjoy the desolation that Utah has to offer - I am serious on this one. I grew up in a world that was green and lush, which I sometimes missed terribly during my years in Utah. But at the same time, there is something incredibly theraputic and welcoming about the intoxicating barreness of Utah's deserts. Typically I am speaking about the starkness of the red rock wilderness of Southern Utah, but I am learning to appreciate the brown scrublands of Northern Utah in their own way. David took me to the Golden Spike Monument at Promentory where there is nothing but a railroad that no longer goes anywhere and dusty hillsides. Perhaps I am still attracted to the existential notion of a railroad to nowhere.

It is barren to be sure, but there is a plaque to commemorate where the last railroad tracks were laid to connect the first transcontinental railroad.

And of course David was also there so I could enjoy it with him.

5. Do find a bunny in the desert - Particularly because it is Easter. You can name him. I named this one Mr. Whiskers.
6. Enjoy the Ride Home in a Honda Civic- If David is driving (or talking on his Blackberry when you are driving), it is far more entertaining and comfortable, and it is spent with far more pleasant company than a plane trip can afford.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Other good things about this week

1. Tom Delay resigned.

2. President Bush was exposed as a leaker.

3. I got to talk to my friend Neil on the phone who I haven't talked to in far too long. His wife, Sherisa's dad is running for Congress against Doc Hastings in Eastern Washington. Yippee! Everyone in Eastern Washington should go vote for him.

4. Last night I got the firm's box tickets for the Tacoma Rainiers game. They were playing the Colorado Sky Sox. The tickets were the best tickets I ever had to a baseball game because we were in the first box directly to the left of home plate. Our seats even said Luce and Associates and they were directly next to the guys from "Honey Buckets" which is my favorite name for Port-A-Potties ever!

Those seats were even better than the Yankees/Mariners game I went to with Tracy in the Bronx where I took this picture of some Yankee, possibly Jason Giambi:

Of course, the Rainiers game also featured a dance contest, fireworks show and my favorite moment of the evening, a hot dog racing against an ice cream cone (I cheered for the hot dog and it won!!). David got inspired to buy some crackerjacks (which are actually affordable at a minor league and non-Yankees game) after singing "Take me Out to the Ballgame."

Here are my paralegal Melissa and her boyfriend Rick also enjoying the game:

All in all, with the Rainiers winning 11-3 and a fireworks show to top it off, it was a fun way to spend an April evening!

5. David said I could go with him to either Sydney or Paris next month! Unfortunately, I can't go to Sydney because I have to be in court for one of the days that he is going to be in Syndey. It is too bad because if I went to Australia then the only continents that I will still need to go to will be South America and Antarctica (which is seeming more realistic these days now that I have ice breaker connections!). By the same token though, I really do need to go to Paris, so if I can manage to sweet talk my way into some extra vacation days at short notice and be diligent about keeping my court calendar clear those days then I might be able to do it. I need a break and a chance to utilize my foreign language skills. Seeing a hot dog knock over an ice cream cone is exciting and all, but I really am needing to see some far off place right now.

Monday, April 03, 2006

All things Nautical

So I was supposed to post this on Monday:

Today David and I went to lunch on this ship because we were invited by the captain of said ship who happens to be a friend of mine. I think that the Polar Sea is the ship on the left, because it is the second biggest ice breaker in the US Coast Guard fleet. I know it is pretty much everyone's dream to go on boar a polar ice breaker. I absolutely love being on ships or boats of any kind. I inherited a nautical/seafaring gene from both of my parents. My dad of course was in the Navy and was able to see the world (of course he was mostly on a submarine), and my mother raced sailboats in her youth and young adult years.

When I was very young, Grampy would take us out for sailboat rides on his 32 foot ranger, named Margie, after my Grammy. Mom would take us out on Lake Norman in North Carolina in her tiny sunfish, or sometimes the Hobie Cat. In spite of this early exposure, sometime, in my early preteen years I developed an overwhelming terror related to boats. This was directly attributable to my dad purchasing a ski boat. We took the boat out in Pensacola Bay for the first time, and we got stuck on a sandbar. It happened again the second time. The third time, the waves in the bay were particularly largeand my mom kept screaming to Dad, "You are going to swamp the boat! SLOW DOWN!" The word "bay" became a bad word to me. I couldn't even look at it on a drive home from the beach without complete emotional anguish. Here is a true story - once Aunt Becky, Uncle Fred, Christian, and Scarlett were in town visiting and we took the boat out in the bay. The bay was choppy, so I crawled into a cubby hole and sang the words to Melissa Manchester's song, "Don't cry outloud." This may have been remotely understandable were I five or six years old; but I think I was eleven, maybe even twelve years old (This is perhaps the most embarassing thing I have ever admitted in public).

To make a long story of my drawn out history with boats significantly shortly, let me just note, I got over it. At some point in time I realized I love being on the water. It is now one of my greatest dreams to own a sailboat because there is just something about floating on top of water that makes me squeal with delight, even just thinking about it. Perhaps all of this is attributable to ferry boat rides in Africa, or the sunset sail and snorkel trip in Zanzibar. Or perhaps it is my family genetics finally catching up with me. I can't take a vacation with my parents without going on a boat of some kind.

So adding the polar ice breaker on to the list of types of boats I have been on was quite fantastic. Perhaps I will join the Coast Guard...