Begging The Question

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Ballad of Mike Price, part 1 and part 2
Inspired by the start of the college football season, and more specifically the return of Mike Price, I thought I would post a couple of little ditties I wrote a while back. I'll fill in some links later (or ask Fitz to), but for the uninitiated, the basic story is that Mike Price was a very successful football coach for the Washington State University Cougars in Pullman, Washington. He was hired to take over the legendary Alabama Crimson Tide a couple of years ago. (For reference in the song, Robert Witt was the UA President and Mal Moore the athletic director, and the Yellowhammer is the state bird, and is prominent in the fight song.) Price, however, liked to party, and apparently didn't realize the scrutiny accorded to football coaches in Alabama. While in Pensacola, Florida for a charity golf tournament, Price allegedly went to a strip club ("Arety's Angels") and met a woman named Destiny Boudreaux, who looks like a mile of bad road. Price, however, was quite taken by her and a couple of other girls. He took a couple of women back to his hotel room and engaged in intercourse with them (allegedly -- Price has sued the school and "Sports Illustrated," which reported it). The next day, while he was on the course, the hotel called and told him that one of the girls had run up a large room service bill on the school credit card. The whole mess ended up with Price getting fired before he even coached a game. He took a year off -- in the wilderness, I guess -- and resurfaced this season at the University of Texas-El Paso Miners (commonly known as UTEP, and pronounced "YOU-tep"). UTEP, in stark contrast to 'Bama, has for years had one of the worst football teams in America. It's a story worthy of Greek tragedy, really, but all I can offer is a couple of parody songs with odd rhyme schemes. The first is to the tune of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue."

"Now The Coach Is Through"

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed
Wond'rin' 'bout what happened last night
To put these cobwebs in my head.
I started to see three women and me
Drinkin' and dancin' and such.
I thought to myself if that's all that it was
It really wouldn't hurt me too much.
So I got up to play some charity golf,
I was still in my spiky shoes
When the hotel called about a bill
And said "credit card abuse" and I just knew
That now the Coach was through.

I was in Pullman when Mal Moore called
To offer me the job.
I knew my chances were lookin' good
When Robert Witt said, "Call me Bob."
Tuscaloosa was my new hometown
And it suited me just fine.
The coeds and the weather there
Were both pretty all the time.
I closed down the campus bars
Just about every night
But the women there weren't nothin'
When I compared them to the sight of you
But now the Coach is through.

She'd been workin' in a topless place
For just about fifteen years,
I just kept lookin' at the sight of her face
Through my goggles made of beer.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same,
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said, "Tell me, don't I know your name?"
I said, "Call me Yellowhammer,
I Coach at Bama, and you're my dream."
I told her she was the prettiest thing
That I'd ever seen -- what did I do?
'Cause now the Coach is through.

I asked her back to my hotel room,
I knew at once she would.
She asked me what I wanted from her,
I said, "Pretty girls make me feel good."
Two more of Arety's Angels
Were also ready to go,
But none of them could hold a candle
To Destiny Boudreaux!
All that night I loved 'em up,
They said to me, "Roll Tide!"
I said to them, "The Tide is rolling!"
I was Tuscaloosa's pride, and it was true,
But now the Coach is through.

Part 2 of our story picks up at UTEP, and is to the tune of -- what else? -- the old Marty Robbins classic, "El Paso." If you don't know it, it's a lovely song, and note that the lines with ellipses at the end are sung in a lilting yodel.

"El Paso"

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,
I tried to revive my once-dead career.
I took a job at the one school to want me,
And I tried to get those poor Miners in gear.

Weaker than kittens were the Miner footballers,
Destined to lose nearly all of their games.
But I wanted back in the coaching profession,
And I was so desperate to clean up my name.

One night of poor judgment still haunted me, one night of unbridled sin....
A lap dance and rough sex, unpaid hotel checks,
And no games for 'Bama would I coach and win.

So in court I challenged their decision to fire me,
And I sued "S.I." for printing those lies.
But battles in courtrooms weren't enough for this cowboy,
I had to get back to those old sidelines.

Then a call came from UTEP and, dang it, I answered,
I don't even know what conference they're in.
My thoughts were a mess when I thought of recruiting,
Where could I find me some strapping young men?

I sit in my office and look out the window, down to the wide Rio Grande....
Man I've been so dumb, why didn't I jump
Into that big river the day I was canned?

It would take me away from the West Texas town of El Paso,
To some place else where I might stand a chance.
Back in El Paso my pedigree's worthless,
Nevermore there will my fortunes advance.

With Liberty and Justice for All
There are those who say they are patriotic. And then there are those who are willing to go all the way to prove that they are true patriots. For those in the latter group, I give you Votergasm.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Oh Canada.
Move to Canada. Get your free "I heart Crack" kit.

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has started handing out "safer crack-use kits" to crack cocaine users.

Each kit, which costs less than $2 to put together, contains a straight glass pipe, screens, alcohol swabs, matches, a pipe cleaner, lip balm, chewing gum and condoms.

I'm glad to see they've finally started adding lip balm to these things...I mean, chapped lips are MUCH harder to wrap around that sweet, sweet (and might I add, government supplied) crack pipe.

Everyday I Write The Book
Hello everyone. You know it's a slow fortnight when Fitz posts more than I do. I wish he would drop the constant "training wheels" metaphor. The fact that I never learned the code stuff is based on laziness rather than incompetence.

Anyway, I just wanted to post something to make sure I remembered how to do it. I'm at a public library in New City, as I still don't have internet access at home (and won't start work until Tuesday). At least this beats unpacking, and it's the only entertainment I can get now that the neighbors put up blinds. Thankfully, the cable guy comes tomorrow, so I can veg out like a normal American and stop all this reading I've been doing.

By the way, I have a cool new phone on which I can check email, so feel free to send something my way. It's a pain in the ass to type in a reply, but I don't have nothing but time on my hands.

I was going to write up a long post about everything that's happened so far here, but the truth is, not much has. It's been pretty boring. About the only funny thing to happen so far is a trip to the grocery store. Apparently, I discovered this city's "Dirt Grocery Store" ("Mallrats" reference). You know it's a crappy grocery store when the store brands are from a different store! Luckily, I've since found a better one.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to getting back in the loop and checking out what I've been missing. Thanks again to all the guest-bloggers for keeping things running.

Go Paris, you're a sexpot.

Soup matched up #9 seed Molly Sims against #8 Paris Hilton in his JB Catfight series. I'll say what I've already said: I love Molly (really, I do), but there's just something about Paris' "I'm dirrrrty and I love it" attitude, waifish looks, and the fact that she answers her cell phone during sex that just inexplicably draws me to her.

That being said, I am now officially starting my VOTE PARIS! campaign (and hijacking the BTQ machinery to boot). It's an 11th hour effort, as I believe voting closes fairly soon. So click here and vote for someone who thinks talking to telemarketers during sex is hot!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Fitz-Hume: Navel-Gazing at BTQ knows no bounds
Everyone else is doing it, so I thought I'd chime in.

Why did you get into blogging in the first place? I got into this because Milbarge needed someone to hold his hand on the technical issues. He was into this whole "blog" thing well before I knew anything about blogs. I thank (and curse) him for getting me into it.

Best aspects of blogging? A couple of good things. The interaction with people I would not otherwise interact with is great. So too is the opportunity to write for an audience. I'd like to think that the pressure of others reading my writing helps me be a better writer.

Worst aspects of blogging? I don't have enough time to write about all the things I would like to write about - knowing how much better my blogging could be if only I did not have work and a family taking up all my time.

Do you use Blogger or Movable Type, or some other blogging system, and why that one? We use Blogger for now. We've had very few headaches with Blogger, and there are very few features from MT or other programs which we lament not having. And by "we" I mean Milbarge. I like Blogger just fine, though we did secure a domain and server because we wanted to get rid of the ad and be able to post images.

Milbarge keeps wringing his hands, fretting that we are missing out by not moving to MT. Curiously, he seems unwilling to figure out the technical aspects of such a move. Result? Power is mine, and I choose to exercise that power by doing nothing.

Do you have comments on your blog and why? We do have comments. Comments have always been important for BTQ.

Do comments work? The comments work. Mind you, there are no high-brow philosophical discussions in our comments section, but without a doubt the comments add to quality of this blog. We are not big enough to worry about the flame fests that likely plague the more widely-visited blogs.

How much do you care about readership/links? I care about the readers. I don't want people to feel like they are wasting their time clicking over to BTQ.

My posts are not often linked to. That's okay, because I don't often post on topics which would make others link to BTQ. I'm glad when they do, of course, but I am not motivated by a need to get links.

Do you take any specific steps to increase readership? No and yes. I don't shop posts around or take any steps to direct others to my posts, but I do try to keep the quality level up. I really feel that if I can (if I insert "continue to" here, is that presumptuous?) produce humorous and mostly well-written posts then the word will get out. Or not.

On the technical level, I have done some things that have increased our readership. I registered BTQ in a blawg web ring (inspired in this, as in many of my actions, by SMP?) and I added an RSS feed for BTQ - both have resulted in new readers.

Are you obsessive about checking the number of visitors you have, and referrer logs, and the like? I am obsessive about precious little in life. I do check visitors and referrer logs on a more-or-less daily basis, though. It's fun to see who is coming to the site and how they got here.

Do you use SiteMeter, or Technorati, or TTLB, or other systems for measuring these things? How useful do you find them, and is there some piece of information about your readers that you'd like to have but none of these offer? We use SiteMeter, Technorati, and TTLB. Between the three I think I get a fairly accurate picture of our traffic and who is linking to us.

Have your readership numbers moved in a way you expected? They have increased since we started (nowhere to go but up), but the numbers just took off when I stopped posting. Milbarge keeps trying to tell me that it is a coincidence that our daily visit averages have doubled since I stopped posting. Keep trying. Cut the rope and save yourself, Milbarge. The world will understand.

Speaking of posting, is there something you would like to post about but don't, and why not? There are a lot of things I'd like to post about, but I just don't have the time to devote to writing good posts about a lot of them. Time, to paraphrase Mick Jagger, is not on my side- at least as far as blogging is concerned. A second issue is that there are many topics that I am interested in, but have too little knowledge of to post about. Again, time becomes a factor, because I don't have the time to get up to speed on these issues and also post on them.

Also, do you ever feel a need to post about the blogosphere topic du jour, and if so, do you then post on it? Rarely, if ever, do I feel like posting on the topic of the day. Most of the time this is because I have nothing new to add. Actually, most of the time it is because I just don't give a shit about the topic of the moment. An exception was the John Kerry deer-hunting issue. I felt like no one that I read handled it well, so I decided to add my thoughts.

What is the strangest web search that led to your blog? We get some good ones. Of the recent searches, I'll give you our top competitors:
3rd place (Bronze): Jack Poon email contacts 2004 (What the hell is this, and what drove this idiot to click on our link?)

2nd place (Silver): Why get a restraining order if you don't follow it yourself? (An excellent question, for which we have no answer.)

1st place (Gold):* casual pictures of paul hamm (What, as opposed to pictures of him clutching his medal and gurgling "My Precious..." in a Gollum-like fashion?)

*Note: Due to a scoring error by our judges, the second-place search actually scored higher than the "casual Paul Hamm" search. Thus, "Why get a restraining order if you don't follow it yourself?" and not Paul Hamm should have been awarded the gold. We dashed off an email to Hamm asking him to return his gold medal, but so far we have heard nothing back. Maybe our spam filter is too sensitive.

Do you have a blog-crush? Not this again. *sighs* Milbarge knows that I crushed on May for the longest time. Not so much because of her blog, but . . . well, it's too complicated to get into here. Let's just say no and move on.

Although it might not rise to the level of a blog-crush, do you read a blog that you think needs more publicity or that more people ought to read?

Besides this one?

On the flip side of that coin, is there a blog that you think is overrated? Uh...sure, but no one cares which blogs I dislike. However, for the sake of the post, I'll throw it out there that there is a certain blog that all of us have on our blogrolls that once was a much better blawg than it is now. Some might even say that it is little more than a news aggregator now. Eh, whatever makes him happy. Oh, there is another blawg that was once quite a good solo project (in fact, it in part inspired Milbarge to start BTQ) that has basically devolved into a law-free list of daily "must-read" links to National Review. But, again, if that makes 'm happy, then go for it.

There are plenty of blogs that other people like and I just look at them and say "What? Why on earth do you read that?" But that's what's great about the blogosphere. If I don't enjoy a blog, I don't have to read it. In that regard, I am very much in the pro-choice camp.

Explain your blogroll. How did you choose which blogs to put there, and how do you use your blogroll? How often is it updated?

My blogroll is a combination of links to blogs I read (about 95% of the list) and blogs that link to BTQ that I don't read, but in the spirit of reciprocity I feel compelled to list. It is not updated often enough, and part of that is because I use a blog aggregator to read a lot of blogs.

Do many of your readers know you in "real life"? A handful of people from my real life read the blog, but nobody "knows" me, not even me.

Would your blog be different if all [your friends, classmates, professors, and co-workers] read the blog, and if so, how? Eh, I doubt it. Why would I change my posts just because of who reads them? The me of BTQ fame is, I think, just like the me of real world infamy. Only the blog me is much more attractive than the real me, and the real me is much funnier than the blog me.

Do you know any other bloggers? Does Milbarge count? Otherwise, no, but I occasionally email with other bloggers.

Would you like to meet other bloggers, and if so, who? I guess I would. If it involved no extra effort on my part, I'd like to meet all of our regular readers, as well as Tom Smith (of The Right Coast), Greg (the Hobbesian Conservative), and, God rest his blog, the Incompetent Associate. That dude was hilarious. Seriously, if you've never read IA, you have no idea how funny a blog can be. It's is a shame he is no longer posting.

What do you think is the future of blogging? What the f**k do I know? I predicted Martha Stewart would walk, and I predict that Bush will win by 8 points in November. I am ill-equipped to speculate, and you are ill-advised to solicit my predictions.

What long-term effects do you think blogs will have on other media? How about this: blogs will further ruin cable news. Think of what the 24-hour news cycle has done to television journalism and multiply by a factor of ten. The pressure to beat the bloggers will make for even crappier (hastier, sloppier, dumber) news. It's sad really.

Do you see yourself blogging in one year? Maybe. Difficult to see the future is.

Five [or ten] years? Not unless I am making money from it. Hopefully Milbarge can lose the training wheels by the time BTQ hits the 5-year mark.

Fixing the Olympics
Something has to be done to make the Olympics watchable again. Here are a few suggestions for the IOC:

1: Scrap the whole thing and replace it with the World's Strongest Man competition.
2: Require female teams to kiss each other when they win an event.
3: (My favorite) Nothing but midgets. I would count down the days for 4 years if I knew Midget High Jump was coming to a TV near me.

Harry Potter and the Fertile Octogenarian
There's an entertaining article up at this morning that begins with the premise that every scary aspect of this summer's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was lifted out of the law school experience:
Come on. Admit it. No matter how nice it was outside, it always was gray, drab and dull in the law library. Piles and piles of heavy casebooks or hornbooks always weighed you down physically and psychologically. You always had at least one professor for whom nobody's answer ever was good enough. And Dementors? If you can't name the professor at your law school voted "Most Likely to Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," you probably haven't recovered from your case of PTSD yet.
The author then proposes that, because Harry and friends will soon be graduating from Hogwarts, the franchise should make him a lawyer-wizard and have him negotiate various "scary" situations:

So as they say in Tinseltown, let's take a meeting, run a few screenplays up the flagpole and see who salutes. To start, how about "Harry Potter and the Rule Against Perpetuities," in which the gang has just days to find out whether the treasure in the vault at Gringott's will vest within a life in being and 21 years? Is the legatee a life in being? Is it a being at all? Can Dumbledore and the phoenix re-animate our beneficiary? Can Voldemort send them off to the nether world? I'm thinking weeks of being No. 1 at the box office here, aren't you?

Then we can go on to "Harry Potter and the Conflict of Laws," in which Harry and Voldemort apply clashing choice-of-law principles in an epic battle to see if the decision to deny Dumbledore's mold claim under the Hogwarts' homeowner's policy will hold up. Watch Hermione search the ancient lore of the Restatements for just the right incantation to help Harry in his struggle to save Hogwarts from the evil remediation contractors.

And finally, the scariest sequel of all, "Harry Potter and the Relation Back," in which Harry must come to Dumbledore's aid to keep the statute of limitations from running on an amended complaint.

So, I ask all of you current and budding attorneys: what frightening legal situation would you like to see Harry, Hermione and Ron magic their way out of? Comments are open.

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    Milbarge Recommends

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    The Men Who Stare at Goats


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    The views presented here are personal and in no way reflect the view of my employer. In addition, while legal issues are discussed here from time to time, what you read at BTQ is not legal advice. I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. If you need legal advice, then go see another lawyer.

    Furthermore, I reserve (and exercise) the right to edit or delete comments without provocation or warning. And just so we're clear, the third-party comments on this blog do not represent my views, nor does the existence of a comments section imply that said comments are endorsed by me.

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