March 30, 2004

Ride Through Chernobyl

Via Anne SFTH's recommendation, i checked out this website/photo essay by a Ukrainian chick who toured the ghost town of Chernobyl on her motorcycle.

It takes a few minutes to go through all the photos, but they're fascinating and definitely worth your time. Her prose is cool too, she writes with a charming accent:

Motorcycling is a great hobby of mine. I ride all my life and I owned different bikes and I ended with big kawasaki ninja. This motorbike has matured 147 horse powers, some serious bark, it is that fast like a bullet and comfortable for a long trips. I travel a lot and my favorite destination lead through so called Chernobyl 'dead zone' It is 130kms from my home. Why favourite? because one can ride there for hours and not meet any single car and not to see any single soul. People left and nature is blooming, there are beautiful places, woods, lakes. Roads haven't been built or repaired since 80th but in places where they haven't been ridden by trucks or army technics, they stay in the same condition as 20 years ago. Time do not ruin roads.
Haunting photographs and lots of information that i didn't know. (i was nine when the disaster happened.) She uses the European method of writing numbers, which threw me at first. For instance, she says that the "radiation will stay in Chernobil area for the next 48.000 years." i thought forty-eight years, that's all? Then i realized, she was saying forty-eight thousand years!

Truly amazing, and so sad. Chernobyl is like Pompeii. It's a time capsule, but more than just a capsule of the Eighties, Chernobyl is a snapshot of the Soviet Union. It's all that remains of a society that no longer exists. There's Elena, on a big Kawasaki Ninja, visiting the Soviet factory that once made the dream bike of Soviet teenagers in the 1980's: a top-of-the-line scooter with only 26 horsepower. So much has changed.

Posted by: annika at 07:57 PM | Comments (24) | Add Comment
Post contains 333 words, total size 2 kb.

A Full Broadside, No Hits

Interesting USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll results yesterday. Some mixed results, but clearly, the poll trends toward Bush. i'm left wondering how such a thing is possible in the face of the full court press being made by Don Hewitt and others of his ilk.

(i know, i'm mixing sports and naval metaphors.)

Question 2 asks:

If Massachusetts Senator John Kerry were the Democratic Party's candidate and George W. Bush were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for?
Bush's March 5-7 number was 44%. Despite Dick Clark, Bush's number has risen to 51%! Kerry's dropped from 52% to 47% during the same period. Those numbers were for likely voters. Kerry's drop was similar in the registered voter and national adult categories, while Bush's gains were more modest.

On overall job approval and Iraq, the presidents numbers are creeping back up. The only hint that anyone's been listening to Dick Clark is that Bush's numbers on terrorism were down 7% since March 5-7.

Has the Clark strategy been ineffective? Will the Democrats run out of new ways to smear Bush before the summer is over? When they run out of ways to distract the public from just how bad a candidate they've chosen, look out below!

Posted by: annika at 04:12 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 217 words, total size 1 kb.

March 29, 2004

20 Questions For Kerry

The Smarter Cop poses 20 questions he (and i) would like to hear Kerry answer. Some excerpts:

1. How common was it to get 3 purple hearts in just three months?

. . .

6. Will you essentially let Iran have their way, in return for their endorsement?

7. Exactly how do you relate to the lower- and middle-classes from your $4.9 million dollar Idaho compound, in which is a great room containing a 15th century English barn imported and reconstructed beam-by-beam by a British carpenter?

. . .

9. If Howard Dean himself claimed that you were a 'man of no principle', and he now endorses you, which one of you is without principle now?

. . .

12. When was the last time you were present in the Senate for two votes in a row?

. . .

18. As a professing Catholic, how do you reconcile with your faith that not only do you support a woman's 'right to choose', but you actually suggest that abortion is something we should be 'proud of'?

19. Is Israel's security fence a legitimate act of self defense or a barrier to peace (since you claimed both things at different times)?

20. If mere negotiation caused Libya to give up its weapons of mass destruction, why wasn't it done on Bill Clinton's watch?

[links omitted]

Link via doubleplusgood.

Posted by: annika at 01:07 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 232 words, total size 1 kb.

March 28, 2004

Wagnerian Skankwoman

As i gaze into my crystal ball i can almost see it . . .

If the American Skankwoman continues to balloon at her current rate, and her career continues to nose dive at it's current rate, i see only one path for her.

No, not Vegas . . . think Bayreuth!

Yes, i see Brittany expanding her . . . er . . . repertoire to encompass the grand Ring Cycle!

Brittany as Brünnhilde! It's perfect! Of course she'd need to lip synch it, but that's nothing new for her.

Hojotoho! Hojotoho! Heiaha! Heiaha!

Hojotoho! Hojotoho! Heiaha! Heiaha! Heiaha!

Am i right or am i right about this?

"Oh annika, why are you so obsessed?" Cuz it's funny that's why.

Posted by: annika at 07:35 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 123 words, total size 1 kb.


Correct me if i'm wrong but does the caption make sense with this picture?

If that's a nuclear power plant, i think that would be steam coming out of the cooling towers.

Last i heard, water vapor was not a greenhouse gas.

This is simply further proof that all journalists are idiots.

Update: Okay, i stand corrected. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and as Pixy Misa and Mythilt pointed out, a very significant one. In fact, according to this web page, water vapor is bad, while clouds are good.

Does this mean that i owe all journalists an apology? Fuck no, they're still idiots.

Update 2: i was going to have some hot tea this afternoon, but i decided against it. i was afraid the steam from the hot water might contribute to global warming. Sheesh!

Posted by: annika at 06:32 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 139 words, total size 1 kb.

annika's Secret Fantasy Baseball Player Ranking System

i can't wait for baseball season to begin. One reason is my new, as yet untested, secret fantasy baseball player ranking system. After two sub-par finishes in Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues, i have decided on a more scientific approach. Okay, quasi-scientific. i don't have enough free time to develop a really scientific system.

Because i love you, i'm going to let you in on it. The system is based on the fact that the Yahoo! public leagues rely on only five offensive* stats: batting average, runs, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases. The fantasy baseball guides out there (i'm using Lindy's) have their own ranking systems that take into account additional stats that are irrelevant to the Yahoo! leagues. Therefore i didn't think the comprehensive rankings should be trusted to pick the most useful players according to the more limited Yahoo! categories.

Another important point, of which all fantasy baseball players are aware, is that you are forced to pick players from each position category. Catchers are, by nature of their position, going to produce lower stats in the five categories, than say outfielders. Unless you get someone like Pudge, but there's only one Pudge. Still, you are forced to fill one spot on your lineup with a catcher, and there are only a few quality catchers out there.

If there are 12 teams in the league, chances are i'm not going to get Pudge. Some other fool is going to try to draft him in the first round, so i'd never put him on my list. i need to figure out a way to pick the best player with regard to the five categories, but a player that the other league members might overlook.

For example, here's how the Lindy's guide ranks catchers:

  1. Mike Piazza

  2. Javy Lopez

  3. Jorge Posada

  4. Ivan Rodriguez

  5. Mike Lieberthal

  6. Jason Varitek

  7. A.J. Pierzynski

  8. Jason Kendall

  9. Ramon Hernandez

  10. Bengie Molina

  11. Paul Lo Duca

  12. Charles Johnson

  13. Benito Santiago

  14. Jason LaRue

  15. Toby Hall
According to my quasi-scientific system, here's how i would rank the catchers:
  1. Ivan Rodriguez

  2. Jason Varitek

  3. A.J. Pierzynski

  4. Javy Lopez

  5. Jorge Posada

  6. Mike Lieberthal

  7. Jason Kendall

  8. Ramon Hernandez

  9. Benito Santiago

  10. Bengie Molina

  11. Jason LaRue

  12. Paul Lo Duca

  13. Greg Myers

  14. Charles Johnson

  15. Mike Piazza
You can see that my system drops Piazza from first to fifteenth, which might seem incredible to you. First off, i've never been a big Piazza fan. As a baseball player, he's selfish, he's not a leader, and he seems aloof and disinterested most of the time, unless somone's chucking a bat at him. As far as stats go, he just didn't do it last year. Sure, i'll admit Mike was injured and missed three months. If he returns to form, he'll probably be a great fantasy pick. But my system has no sympathy for injuries; that's the "scientific" part of my quasi-scientific system. Anyways, let the crowd go after Pudge and Piazza, i'm looking for the dark horses.

What i do first is determine the top ten players in each statistical category. i do it a little different than most statistical tables, so my list yields a few more players when there's a tie. Normally, the statistical tables will count each tied player towards the total ten in the top ten. So you'll might see numbering like: 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 10. Since i don't care how many guys are on the list, as long as their stats are in the top ten, i won't skip over numbers like that. Thus, if there's any ties, my list would include guys who might be lower on another statistical list. Using the example above, my list might look like this: 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, and so on. Using my system, the tenth player on ESPN's or Lindy's list would be the sixth player on my list in the above example.

i do this ranking for each offensive category that Yahoo! uses. This way, i can see if a player will help me in stolen bases for example, even if his sucky stats in other categories make him less desirable in non-Yahoo! leagues. i don't really care about a guy's on base percentage or his total hits, since Yahoo! doesn't use them.

Once i find the top ten stats for each category i assign a cutoff number, which is the tenth stat in the list. For instance, the tenth highest amount of runs by a catcher (using my top ten list) was 52, by Cincinatti's Jason LaRue. Then i go through the list of all players in a specific position and assign a point to any player who's stat for that category is in the top ten for other players within that position. (It does no good to rank, say catchers against outfielders on stolen bases; you'd never see a catcher in the top ten.) Therefore, i would give one point to all catchers with 52 or more runs.

Once i go through all five stats, on all players in a position, i get a number ranging from zero to five. Additionally, i'll give a break to guys who are close to the top ten in a certain category, or who did poorly due to injury, yet had a good 2002 season. Instead of a point for that particular stat, i'll give those guys a "+." If a player has a plus, he will automatically move to the top of the list for players with his 1-5 point total. For instance, Mike Piazza got only one point from my system (his batting average was in the top ten for catchers last year), but i gave him a "+" in three other categories because of his past performances. That put him at the top of all the other “one point” guys on my list.

Here's my catcher's list with my point system attached:

  1. Ivan Rodriguez (5)

  2. Jason Varitek (5)

  3. A.J. Pierzynski (4+)

  4. Javy Lopez (4)

  5. Jorge Posada (4)

  6. Mike Lieberthal (4)

  7. Jason Kendall (4)

  8. Ramon Hernandez (4)

  9. Benito Santiago (3+)

  10. Bengie Molina (3)

  11. Jason LaRue (3)

  12. Paul Lo Duca (2+)

  13. Greg Myers (2+)

  14. Charles Johnson (2)

  15. Mike Piazza (1+)
After assigning pluses, i rank guys with the same amount of annika points by their ranking according to Lindy's.

There's still some brainwork that needs to be done. That's the "quasi" part of the quasi-scientific system. For instance, what do i do with Atlanta's catchers, Eddie Perez and Johnny Estrada? Eddie is ranked higher than Johnny on my system, but Johnny is expected to be in the starting lineup this season. Obviously i'd want Johnny rather than Eddie, since he'll have more at bats. That's where my system needs some tinkering.

Another potential flaw is that my system relies on the previous year as a predictor of future performance perhaps too heavily. The sophmore slump isn’t taken into account, nor are potentially good rookies or veterans who are on the downhill side of their careers. i try to minimize this by adding or withholding a “+” when the opportunity exists.

But all in all, i think my secret system is good for identifying the dark horses among the rankings put out by the magazines and websites. It's time consuming to go through all the positions and assign points, then rank them. i've been doing it little by little for the past few weeks, during my breaks at work.

i think i'll put Jason Varitek or A.J. Pierzynski at the top of my draft list as catcher, since they seem to have been under-rated by both Lindy's and Yahoo!'s ranking systems. Actually, i had A.J. on my last two fantasy teams and he's always been good to me. Now that he's on the Giants, i have another reason to like him.

On the other hand, Varitek is a solid player on an American League team that will be a contender again next year. His power numbers are better than A.J.'s but his batting average is not as good. They each crossed the plate 63 times. Tough choice; i can't decide yet. Tune in later if you're curious. i'll post a link to my team on the sidebar, like i did last year.

* i haven't used my system for pitchers, but the same concept should probably work on them, with a few adjustments to distinguish the value of relievers as opposed to starters.

Posted by: annika at 10:43 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 1405 words, total size 8 kb.

March 27, 2004

Vote For Your Favorite Democrat

Accidental Verbosity is running a couple of polls. This poll is an easy choice for me. i'd feel comfortable with my choice as president even today. In fact, if my choice were running against Bush, i'd vote democrat.

i bet you can guess who i'm talking about easily, because he's probably your choice too.

The other poll is harder; i don't like any of the losers on the list.

Posted by: annika at 07:30 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 79 words, total size 1 kb.

March 26, 2004

Maybe It's Not Right To Laugh, But...

What makes Anna grimace?


Besides the fact that she couldn't hack it as a pro, now there's this.

Posted by: annika at 04:20 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 32 words, total size 1 kb.

More Proof That Europe Is Going Kaput

i can't even bring myself to blog about it. It's simply too disgusting. Just read it here.

i'm almost certain my brother has been to this doctor.

The shit you find on Ananova! i'm tellin' you.

Posted by: annika at 04:15 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 50 words, total size 1 kb.

A Four Legged Hero

From CPT Patti, this story:

AN ARMY sniffer dog was the target of an ASSASSINATION bid by Iraqi guerillas because he found so many weapons.

Hero Blaze, an English springer spaniel, was marked down for a 'hit' after nosing out huge caches of guns, ammo and explosives.

A contract was put on Blaze's head by militia men loyal to toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. And a hitman struck as the dog was searching a roadside in Az Zubayr, south-west of the city of Basra.

The would-be killer came roaring up in a car, deliberately swerved and ran over Blaze who was wearing a fluorescent harness and could be clearly seen. The attacker then sped off.

Blaze's handler, Lance Corporal Steve Dineley, watched in horror as the dog disappeared under the car. Amazingly he escaped with only bruises and cuts.

Full story here.

Posted by: annika at 09:29 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 147 words, total size 1 kb.

March 25, 2004

Dick Clark Flap, Ho Hum

i'm really not paying attention to the whole Dick Clark snipe-fest. It's all politically motivated finger pointing. On all sides. No one wants to admit that there's blame enough to go around for 9/11.

As far as i'm concerned, they all fucked up, each in their own way, and each to varying degrees. i'm talking about Bush, Clinton, Cheney, Clark, Allbrite, Reno, Tenet, Woolsey, Kerry, Monica, Woodward and Bernstein, Buddy, Barney and probably Socks the cat, too. They all could have done more, i'm sure.


Consider Socks. With all this info floating around about Al Qaeda back in the 90's, why didn't Socks hear anything? Wasn't he listening? Cats have much better hearing than people, and they're lower to the ground, too. And if he did know something, why didn't he tell anyone? It boggles the mind.

Seriously, all this finger pointing is pointless and counter productive. The question is: who has the best plan going forward? Which side in this debate is going to best prevent future terrorist attacks? These commission hearings (and their associated ephemera: the books, 60 Minutes, Larry King and the like) are not helping our fight. In my opinion; the debate has devolved into a political mutual masturbation society. Who can jerk the public off most effectively? That's why i've lost interest.

i think a recent quote by Jonah Goldberg amounts to the best bottom line take on this whole Dick Clark brouhaha:

For a whole bunch of reasons — the Florida recount, Howard Dean's influence on the Democratic party, the failure to find WMDs, etc. — the foreign-policy debate is no longer a debate over facts, it's a debate over motives.

One side simply believes, as a matter of theology, that Bush couldn't possibly have had sincere motives for war. It had to be a 'lie,' in the words of Ted Kennedy, 'made up in Texas.'

The other side, my side, finds such an analysis so irrational, so hateful and so profoundly dangerous to America that it becomes difficult not to wonder if such people hate George Bush more than they fear terrorists or love America.

Sheesh. My solution? Everyone admit some fault, big group hug, roll up sleeves, then go back to kicking ass on the badguys.

Posted by: annika at 04:51 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 382 words, total size 3 kb.

American Skankwoman Carb Update

It's been a while since i posted about Brittany. i recently saw some new concert pictures and the first words that popped into my head were: Hello, welcome to the thunderthighdome, skank.

Here's what she told her promoters about her condition:

I look like a blimp, so do something about it. I need to look perfect -- better than perfect.
She's all class, ain't she?

Update: Puleeez! Have these people never heard of Beyonce, Carmen, Halle or Angelina?

Posted by: annika at 04:14 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 84 words, total size 1 kb.

Anita Blake Book, First Impressions

i've been reading Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton, which is one of her Anita Blake, vampire hunter books. It's like an adult version of Buffy. So far it's okay. i'm about a quarter through it.

The heroine is tough talking, always insists on the last word and kicks a lot of ass. The writing is technically proficient, but Ms. Hamilton does have a few annoying habits. For instance she always describes what every character is wearing in every scene.

In the case of her male characters, every single one of them has long hair. They all like to go around showing off their torsos, either in see through shirts or simply bare-chested. Hamilton always takes the time to describe what their stomach muscles are doing. i'm like, okay i get it already, they're in shape. The author seems fixated on a very specific type.

Also, the aforementioned protagonist is kind of a bitch. Someday i'd like to see a kick-ass girl heroine who's not also a ball buster. Can't a girl be nice and still be tough when she needs to be? If and when i finally write my sci-fi police woman book, that's how my lead character will be.

Posted by: annika at 01:07 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 211 words, total size 1 kb.

Santa Monica Bans Beach Smoking

No more smoking at the closest beach to my house (unless you have a doctor's note, i would guess).

Even as a smoker, i still have to ask: Who wants to smoke at the beach anyway? It's hard to light up and even a small breeze will make the cig burn so fast it's gone before you know it. i tend to smoke less when i'm out in the hot sun anyways. i also feel guilty just sticking the butt in the sand like so many people do.

i got the link from L.A. Observed. There's a couple of comments from people calling this new law "fascist." Then there's an interesting rebuttal chiding those commenters for not understanding the import of the word "fascist." Interesting, if somewhat vitriolic.

i generally don't get too worked up over anti-smoking laws. Some people claim that if we smokers want to do something harmful, we should be able to do it. They also claim that second hand smoke is harmless. But i know i shouldn't be smoking and if a law makes it inconvenient for me to continue a dangerous habit, i think that's a good thing. And as for second hand smoke being harmless, that's an argument that seems to go against common sense. Why not err on the side of safety?

Still, banning smoking on the beach seems a bit much. The only logical justifications would seem to be 1) anti-litter, 2) encouraging quitting and 3) minimizing children's exposure to viewing people with cigarettes. Those are thin justifications, but hey, like i said, it's a bad habit so i'm not gonna get too upset about it.

Posted by: annika at 10:00 AM | Comments (19) | Add Comment
Post contains 284 words, total size 2 kb.

March 24, 2004

Stream Of Consciousness: The Ex

So my roommate and i are going up north for our birthdays next week. As you may or may not know, Betty and i were born on the exact same day. i haven’t been back there since last June and i’m looking forward to seeing all my old friends. Our dance card is pretty full already. One of my exes, Tomasz, heard that i was coming up and he gave me a call tonight, while Jason was over, so that was kinda uncomfortable. Tommy is unique in that we've always gotten along much better since we stopped dating than we ever did during our year together. We’re still pretty close. But new boyfriends always seem to think they have to compete with old boyfriends. If we were lions, they’d have to fight it out amongst themselves. But of course, we’re humans, not lions, so i think Jason should get over it. Tommy wanted to invite me and Betty to a dinner party next Friday, given by his software company. They’re rolling out some new game this month and they rented out a nice restaurant to celebrate. Of course i want to go, it sounds like fun and i would like to see him again. Nothing sneaky, i don’t have any feelings for Tommy, other than friendship. He’s quite an interesting fellow. We met when i was in undergrad and dated during sophmore and junior year. He’s one in a series of bald headed musicians that i managed to get mixed up with. Tommy is the drummer/DJ/computer-wiz with the less-than-serious personality. A big tatooed guy who sometimes quoted Shakespeare and liked to get into fistfights while drunk, which seemed to happen a lot in the old days. That’s the thing about drummers. Getting drunk and fighting is an occupational requirement for them. In fact, Tommy got in a fistfight with some guy on the night we met. We were both shitfaced. i was at a bar, playing pool, drinking Jack and Coke. He flirted like crazy with me. He was so cocky and forward, but i ate it up because i was much more immature than i am now (at least i think so). He said shit like: “You’re real cute, i bet you kiss good too.” Yah, yah, i know; i said i was immature back then, okay? Pretty soon we ended up making out in the hallway leading to the bar’s bathroom. Yes, right in the midst of all those people waiting in line. Then somehow we got separated and i didn’t see him again until later on when there was a big commotion near the entrance. It was Tomasz, swinging his arms at another dude and not connecting, because one of the bouncers had him in a headlock. He and the other guy got thrown out into the street. i remember it was raining hard. i went out to see if he was okay. He was fine, not a scratch on either of them. Since it was pouring, Tommy gave me a ride back home and the rest is history. We had a lot of fun together for the first three months, which is my typical honeymoon period with guys. One of the most memorable experiences of my life was when i got to sing in front of Tommy’s band. We practiced for a month before the gig and i sang two songs in a little club, which has since closed down. i’ve never been so nervous in my life. i was much more nervous than i had been when i played Guenevere in high school or when i soloed in the choir. After the gig, the band told me that i did great, but the guitar player said that he’d love to have me do it again after another couple months of practice. Somehow, that didn’t sound too encouraging. Anyway, i had no intention of ever singing with a band again, even though i had a blast. i’m just too shy. Tommy and i finally broke up because we started arguing all the time over stupid shit. We tried getting back together a few times over the years, but it never worked out. He was my first real serious boyfriend, and i learned an important lesson from our relationship. We fought because we were young and we thought it was good to say whatever was on our minds, which i now know is not necessarily a good thing. i mean, when you’re with someone, you still have to make an effort to be polite and watch how you express yourself. You can’t take everything to heart and you definitely can’t bark at each other over every little thing, which is what we did. Being fucked up most of the time didn't help either. Also, Tommy’s a Taurus, which is a big no-no for me. But like i said, we’ve been great friends since we stopped dating and i do miss hanging out with him. In fact, he came to my graduation last year, even though Pete, my loser ex, blew it off. There’s an ex whom i have no desire to bump into while i’m in S.F. i have no idea what Pete’s doing these days, nor do i care.

Posted by: annika at 10:51 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 883 words, total size 5 kb.

March 23, 2004

Do You Remember Your Song?

Sitting around the apt. with Jason, my roomie and my brother, the following subject came up for discussion. What song was playing on the car radio when you got your first ticket? i think it's interesting that we all remembered, even though not all of us could remember the specifics of the traffic violation.

My song was sooo ironic, it wasn't even funny. When i saw the siren in my rear-view mirror i had been singing along to Ace of Base's "The Sign" at top volume. You remember how it goes:

I saw the sign,
And it opened up my eyes.
I saw the sign.
LOL, but i hadn't seen the sign! Ain't that a total crack-up?

Posted by: annika at 09:10 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 125 words, total size 1 kb.

Some Good News From Spain

Although the Socialists are cutting and running from Iraq (even though that's the best place to kill Al Qaeda types these days), they might increase their commitment to Afghanistan, which is welcome news.

Also, Spain's new PM believes in cutting taxes and laissez faire economics.

Here are some of the economic promises on which Zapatero's Socialist Workers Party campaigned: lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30 percent, cutting income taxes, and reducing the value-added tax. Oh, and they're going to balance the budget and control inflation. The man expected to be the Socialist finance minister, Miguel Sebastian, is a U.S.-educated economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He's promising to put his faith in the Invisible Hand. 'There will be a strict separation between politics and business,' he told the Financial Times. 'We will be a market-friendly government.'
i'm not as optimistic about Zapatero as the Slate columnist, but i'll admit this news takes some of the sting out of the recent election results.

Slate link via Michael J. Totten via Ipse Dixit.

Posted by: annika at 08:40 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 186 words, total size 1 kb.


Why is this person not lying on the ground, unconscious, with multiple compound fractures and no teeth?

This shit pisses me off.

Posted by: annika at 08:11 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 24 words, total size 1 kb.

Just Came To Read The Meter

No time to do the old blog thing, that is. i'd like to bash Dick Clark, but why don't y'all just pop on over to Strange Women and read the post about some of Clark's hare-brainedness, and the one about Jack Straw dissing Clinton obliquely, while dissing the Spanish not so obliquely.

Posted by: annika at 12:57 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 64 words, total size 1 kb.

March 21, 2004

Results Of Linda’s Trial

Last week i wrote about the trial i was helping my friend Linda with. She represented the defendant and made her closing argument on Friday. The jury came back after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

The jury found our client negligent, but only awarded $1800 to the injured plaintiff, the amount of her medical bills. The jury unanimously awarded nothing to the wife for pain and suffering and nothing to the husband for loss of consortium.

The jury’s verdict was substantially below Linda’s last offer before trial. i could tell by the look on the plaintiffs’ faces as they walked out of the courtroom on Friday that they regretted not taking the pre-trial offer.

We suspect that the jury did not like the way the plaintiffs were making a mountain out of a molehill, especially in regard to the loss of consortium claim. Linda tells me that it's very hard for plaintiff attorneys to get good verdicts on cases that only involve minor muscle strains. The more money the plaintiffs ask for, the less the jury seems to like them, she says.

i was impressed with Linda’s skill as a cross-examiner and her eloquent closing argument. This was only her third trial, but i’d never have known it by watching her. Of course it’s the first real trial i’ve ever seen, but i thought the plaintiffs’ attorney was far less prepared than Linda.

i told Linda how great i thought she had been, but she was characteristically humble. “The facts won this case, not me,” she said.

“But you were so much better than the other lawyer,” i said. “You laid some traps for him that he had no idea how to get out of.” That was true, Linda got the plaintiff’s doctor to admit to a couple of innocuous facts during cross-examination and then during closing she sprung the trap by using those facts in a way that the other attorney had not anticipated. He didn’t see her argument coming and so he had no answer to it in his rebuttal. It was beautiful.

Linda has less of an ego than any lawyer i’ve ever met. She simply refused to take credit for her trial victory. She thanked me profusely for my help, even though the judge denied both of the motions in limine that i wrote.

Friday, after work, Linda and i met up with our other team members, Grace, Paul, Patricia and Kathy for a round of Guinnesses. Finally, we got Linda to admit that she was good.

“Well, if there’s one thing I did do well,” she said, “it’s that i didn’t let [the plaintiffs’ attorney] get away with any mistakes.”

i agreed. She really exploited every weakness in the plaintiffs’ case, including some weaknesses that i didn’t see at first. Linda had this way of taking the arguments that the other guy thought were very clever and turning them around to use against him. i don’t know how she did it, but if i ever make it through law school, i want her to teach me.

Posted by: annika at 07:41 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 517 words, total size 3 kb.

<< Page 1 of 3 >>
139kb generated in CPU 1.76, elapsed 1.761 seconds.
79 queries taking 0.9006 seconds, 334 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.