Legal Muse

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Archive for June 2008

Sunday Reflection

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This is a snippet of my newest song, for all of my rabid fans out there.

It’s the first song written on my 1968 Gibson that I traded my Taylor for, and honestly, I think it’s pretty good. I’d love to hear some of your comments. Tell all your friends to come check it out!


Written by DMN

June 29, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Comment of the Week

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I’ve decided that once a week I’ll post the comment that I thought was most profound. Close tie between T.Ohhe and Adam here. Adam wins because this is the first time I’ve been publicly threatened with a lawsuit.

Comment of the Weak:

Hey future Lawyer, I got a term you seem to be unfamiliar with, it’s called ‘libel’. As in: Bill’s internet posted false statement against Adam is considered … libel. btw I voted for the IPA.

Thanks to everyone who commented, and to everyone who voted for the wheat beer… at least you’ve insured I’ll have a happy girlfriend.

Written by DMN

June 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Video of the Week

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If you haven’t seen this, stand by to be amazed.

“My rhymes are so potent that in this small segment I made all of the ladies in the studio audience pregnant.”

-Jermaine (AKA The Hiphopopotamus)

I’m pretty sure that’s just about the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen.

Written by DMN

June 27, 2008 at 6:39 am

Foundations of a Legal Library

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You know how all those lawyer commercials on TV always have those gigantic bookcases jammed full of impressive looking books in the background?

Well, I’m not quite there…

It is alphabetized by subject though! That has to count for something!

Written by DMN

June 26, 2008 at 1:20 pm


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After graduating from college and having assimilated myself into the civilized and mature world, I had thought that I would have escaped the juvenile hijinks associated with my previous educational experiences.

The following is a scene from outside my swanky (cough) apartment complex. For those who graduated from the service academies, I’m confident that this is a fairly familiar image:

*Notice the puppy about to take a leak on the side of pictured fountain.

For those militaristic types who have some amount of experience with firearms, I thought that this might be amusing. Found in the parking lot of the Pentagon as I was leaving work one day:

Word of the Day: glutinous
Latin Phrase of the Day that I just learned: Bill filiam vocat et fabulam narrat.

Written by DMN

June 25, 2008 at 6:40 am

Posted in academy, guns, puppies

Cockup IPA

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Esteemed readers, I hope that this post finds you well and in a power hungry mood. Before you lies a poll that will dictate my alcoholic happiness over the next few months. I charge you, dear reader, with making a wise choice regarding my future.

*edit: I am referring to the poll that is currently open directly above this post regarding what kind of beer I should make next. Cool points if you don’t choose the wheat beer.

Without further ado, I introduce you to my newest creation:

Cockup IPA

I found it extremely fitting to call this particular brew Cockup IPA because, well, it was an IPA, and it was a TOTAL cockup. It had been several months since I had brewed a beer, and I felt that it was about time to delve back into the depths of alcoholism, so I headed down to my local homebrew shop to create an epic masterpiece. After careful deliberation (opening to a random recipe in the middle of the book), I chose to brew a fairly generic and potent IPA.

An Indian Pale Ale gets it’s name from being the only beer that could survive the trip from England to India aboard the ships of the East Indian Shipping Company. Due to it’s higher alcohol content, and the layers of hops added to the brew, it was essentially a non-perishable beverage. To this day, IPA’s are characterized by the same characteristics.

That much I knew, and being an old hand at brewing beers, I naturally assumed that brewing this particular beer would be no different than any other. How wrong I was.

Cockup Number 1:

What you see before you is essentially a giant tea bag (GTB) used in beer brewing. One uses said GTB to create the “wort”, which is the foundation of the beer. One deposits various malts and toasted malted barley into the tea bag, and deposits it into a capacious vat of hot water (usually about 160 F) for a recipe specific duration. Being the expert that I am, I deposited the bag, then proceeded to deposit myself on the sofa in front of the television to partake in the necessary beer consumption element of the beer brewing process. After waiting 20 minutes (out of the prescribed 30), I diligently went to check on my budding brew. Using my sixth, or maybe my seventh sense, I quickly deduced that all was not well with my fledgling creation, as there was a noticeable hint of smoke emanating from the surface of my creation. Calling upon all of my education, I concluded that I was hallucinating; everyone knows that nothing can burn under water. Satisfied that it must just be steam, I cracked open another beer, and returned to the couch.

Returning 10 minutes later to remove the GTB and begin the next stage, the above picture is what I found. Through some freak happenance, I had managed to actually burn through the GTB lining, and open a sprawling hole in the bag, freeing all the malt to drift along merrily in my brew. How this happened is beyond me. The burner wasn’t even turned up all the way, and I’ve used the GTB in much more extreme temperature. After excessive panic, and some gymnastics refiltering the beer/getting made fun of by my brother via telephone, I proceeded to the next stage.

Cockup Number 2:

As previously mentioned, and IPA has an incredibly large amount of hops in it – much more than I have ever used. Due to my expertise, I understood that once the wort got to a boil and the hops were added, I needed to be cognizant of a boil over. What was not clear to me at the time was the exponential relationship between the amount of hops added, and the time it takes to reach a boil over once the hops are added. In most cases, it takes about 5-8 minutes for a boil over to become a threat. Apparently, but adding about 2 oz. of hops, that time is degraded to about 1 minute.

Naturally, after adding the hops, I cracked open another beer and headed out to the couch without a worry in the world. It was only the sound of hissing hops beginning to burn on the outside of my pot that alerted me to the fact that all was not well. Returning to the site, and after a moment of yelping like a little girl, I threw myself into the fray. After turning down the heat and watching the boil over subside, I turned the heat back up to a moderate level.

10 minutes later, the beer was still not boiling as it should. Perplexed, I turned it up even higher. 3 minutes later, still nothing. At about this time, I realized that the boil over had actually put out the gas flame beneath my floundering creation, and I became aware that there was a reason I was becoming slightly lightheaded. Thinking quickly, I shut off the offending burner and moved the beer to another. Catastrophe avoided, below is what the brew pot looked like post-boil over.

Surprisingly, it is still an excellent beer. It kind of goes to show you how hard it is to mess up beer brewing. It’s still extremely potent, with the proof being that it left my friend Adam in a vulnerable stupor last week out at the Crystal City Bond Night.

Again, vote in the poll!

Word of the day: capacious.
Latin Phrase that I just learned: postride Bill ad tabernas ambulat.

Written by DMN

June 24, 2008 at 10:03 am

Posted in beer, cockup ipa, debachery, GTB


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For most of my life, I’ve lived in fairly close proximity with a large portion of my family – on my father’s side that is. Our clan was pretty closely confined to New England, and we frequently met for the holidays/weddings/miscellaneous well-mannered frivolity. As I was beginning my search for information regarding the legal profession, I realized that no one in my family was an attorney. I began to think that there was no precedent for legal scholarship, and that I, being the roguish young upstart that I am, would be the first – after all, on my father’s side, my family had been poor Irish-Catholics, who I doubted at any point in the past had been renowned for their lawfulness. In fact, my impression is that they were probably known for the exact opposite.

I find myself thinking that things were different in my mother’s family. If I take an objective view of my Hungarian side, I notice that there was a clear focus on the importance of education, and the value of esoteric knowledge. All of my cousin’s have a Ph.D, and my various aunt’s and uncles had also obtained similar degrees. Perhaps there was some legal precedent somewhere in my family tree after all?

My mother (the sweetest woman in the world), confirmed for me that back in Hungary, I had a relative of some legal prestige. His name was Barna Horvath, and he was a professor of the Sociology of Law at the esteemed University of Szeged, one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary and Central Europe. I was doing some research on a fellow by the name of István Bibó, and it turns out that he was heavily influenced by my ancestor. Looking at what István Bibó actually did, I feel somewhat proud.

So there it is. In my blood flows the genes of a fairly famous legal philosopher (my definition of prestige is wikipedia’s list of “Notable Person’s” who taught at the University of Szeged).

Looking at my personal strengths and weaknesses, I honestly don’t see myself having the mental horsepower to do something as impressive as actually become a philosopher. At the start of law school, just passing the classes seems to be a fairly daunting challenge in its own right. However, it does give me even just a modicum of hope – I’m not the first; it’s been done in my family, and it’s been proven that we can be good at it. Call me a coward, but being the youngest I’ve always followed in people’s footsteps. Here I am though, about to do something that none of my living relatives have ever done.

It helps to know that the trail has already been blazed, even if it was close to a century ago.

Written by DMN

June 23, 2008 at 9:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized