more from the real life AH

picking up on judy's thread...

i got a digital SLR off of CL yesterday (canon 20D, retail is ~$1350 pre-rebate). it's a very nice camera (solid build, 5 fps shooting, 8 megapixels, all that), and i got it for very very cheap, 'cause the guy needed to sell it to raise money for rent.

he posted an ad at 11am, saying "first one to get here with $875 gets it", and i was on my way 30 minutes later with cash in hand (well, actually, in pocket...) i felt bad for the guy, almost to the point where i thought about not buying it. is it right to profit so substantially from someone else's misfortune? but then i thought, hey they guy needs cash quick; it's not like i'm trying to lowball him and take advantage of his situation - i'm doing him a favor. i also thought, clearly *someone* will take advantage of the situation, it might as well be me. i'm still slightly uncomfortable with it, but the more i think about it the less it bothers me. thoughts?

also, it's a @#$@ing sweet camera, and i'm really excited to start using it (getting a memory card from costco tomorrow, so pictures to follow soon).

life, the universe, and oxford

thought i'd post a few photos from oxford. awesome city. great people, tons of beautiful open space, incredible parties. i'm not getting much work done, but i am having tons of fun and playing ultimate pretty much everyday.

Collapse )

That's all for now. Come visit!
  • Current Music
    I'll Remember April - Cannonball Adderley, "Cannonball Enroute"

travel; coaching; another photograph

i'm leaving for england in about 3 weeks, with stops on the east coast to visit my parents and melinda; if you haven't heard, i'll be at the oxford numerical computing laboratory until the end of july. i'm feeling simultaneously very prepared and not prepared at all for this trip. i think there must be a lot of little logistical things that i haven't considered yet, that i'm going to need to deal with all at the last second.

my new passport finally came in the mail, so that's one big worry taken care of. on the other hand, i'm realizing that 3 months is a weird time span to pack for. just short enough that i won't ever get really properly settled in there, so i'm still traveling light, but long enough that i feel like i should be bringing some bits of my life with me. i'm just glad that i can afford to not sublet my place and not need to deal with that.


i think you all know that i'm coaching the cal women's ultimate B-team, the tarts, this year. it's occasionally frustrating to coach people who are just learning to play, but on the whole it's incredibly rewarding. i'm completely astounded by how much better the team has gotten in the last 2 months, and i love that they play *great* defense. there's a few girls on the team who will be great players someday.

i was reading the "ethical guidelines for coaches" on monday, and it's pretty damn funny. there's the obvious bits that make perfect sense ("don't have sex with your players"), the bits that mostly make sense, but are possibly more extreme then they need to be ("don't drink with your players"), and a few bits that are absolutely non-sensical ("tell your players not to use pornography" - no joke; i can think of no reasonable justification for this, but the UPA seems to think it makes sense. i'm also supposed to tell them not to gamble, evidently).


i thought i'd put up another portrait that i took this fall, just for fun. it's from the last time i visited new york, at the beginning of november, at a korean dessert / coffee shop in midtown. shot on ISO 400 kodak tri-x black and white film, with a 50mm prime lens at f2.8, 1/30 sec exposure. artificially colored in photoshop.

Collapse )
  • Current Music
    She Cries Your Name - Beth Orton, Trailer Park

more legalese

so i've been talking a lot about the shiavo case with various third-year boalt students in the last day, and persuaded a few of them to do some research with me. interesting conclusions:

  • my gut feeling about the federal law violating equal protection is valid. yes, the fourteenth amendment applies only to state and local laws, but the fifth amendment has been interpreted to give the same protections from federal law in supreme court decisions since the mid 1950s. roughly speaking, the government may not discriminate between individuals unless the discrimination relates to a proper governmental purpose.
  • there's good reason to suspect that even with the new federal law, the federal courts do not have jurisdiction. (even though the law purports to explicitly grant that power). i confess that i don't fully understand this, but the boalt students seem to concur on this point. it seems like the worst the federal courts could do is certify the case to the florida supreme court, and even that would be unlikely.
  • even if they do have jurisdiction, the federal courts should be bound to follow the state court decisions in this matter.
  • this case has thrice already come before the supreme court. there's no conceivable way that this court will agree to intercede, even ignoring whatever states-rights issues are present. adding in the states-rights concerns, it becomes apparent that this has no chance of possibly going anywhere.


religious conservative politicians make me sick. has there ever been a more baldly corrupted political group as self-righteous as they? the pairing of their collective presumption with their professed individual humility is astounding.

i'm also pretty disappointed that so many federalist / libertarian conservatives are toeing the party line on this. even ones who support the right to die. if ever there were a time for them to grow a backbone and stand up for one of the good things republicans have historically stood for, it's now. sadly, with only a few exceptions, they haven't.

  • Current Mood
    geeky geeky