October 2007 Archives

Drunken Punkins

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Happy Halloween, errbody. I like to think the fact that this is my favorite holiday has something to do with some hard-wired respect for my ancient Celtic roots, but it probably has more to do with the holiday's proximity to my birthday, and the result that as a child I always had a bunch of new toys at Halloween. In any case, I really like Halloween.

The Firm has a nice Halloween tradition where employees bring their kids to the office for trick-or-treating. Even the younger kids seem nervous about walking into lawyers' offices asking for candy, but after some prodding from their parents they generally play ball. There's also a big Halloween party, with a magic show for the kids, booze for the grown-ups, food for days, and a costume contest. My costume this year, "Lazy Person," didn't win any prizes but was met with reactions from my co-workers that were more or less polarized between "awesome" and "totally weak." I'll post a picture of it at some point and let you be the judge.

In the mean time, here's what I came home to this evening -- the lovely candlework of Dr. M:

And here are the pumpkins from the previous post, carved with a little help from a 5.2 earthquake. My structurally unsound creation is on the right, and Dr. M's fantastically creative cat-o-lantern is on the left.

I hope those of you braving the Castro make it out of there with all of your vital organs intact, and post pictures for us stay-at-home L7s to gawk at and be envious of.

Halloween Physics Phun


Dr. M and I carved our jack-o-lanterns this evening, after the delightful experience of being the only childless adults at the San Carlos pumpkin patch on Sunday. I picked a pumpkin that was sort of lopsided, intending to carve the face on the side that was pointing somewhat upward to create the impression that the glowing demonic head was looking up at you.

I carved a classic triangle-eyes-and-large-mouth jack face, and then stood the pumpkin up to see how it would look. Unfortunately my zealous excisions from the upward-facing side shifted the pumpkin's center of gravity toward the opposite side, meaning that the pumpkin will no longer stand up of its own accord. Fortunately I can lean it against a wall or other pumpkins.

Depheated by physics yet again. Luchenko learn nothing.

My Third Blog-Related Real-World Event

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My five years of blogging hasn't exactly transformed my life into the endless parade of designer narcotics and high-priced prostitutes that I thought it would, but it has, at the very least, afforded me more than zero opportunities to attend/participate in real-life events in my capacity as a blogger. The first was the uproarious Cementhorizon Birthday Party, where I wore an extremely offensive T-shirt and provided flowing molten chocolate. The second was a more subdued event organized by Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, where I provided very little and left early before being delayed on BART as the result of a soccer riot.

And now, I proudly bring to you news of, and invite you to, event number three: The Alameda Literati book fair and writers' conference, set for November 3rd at the O Club in Alameda (click the link for details). I'll be participating in a panel titled "The Blab on Blogging: How to get started, and where to go next." There will also be all kinds of other cool shit spread throughout the day, so I encourage you to come. The timing also jives nicely with National Novel Writing Month, something that I would love to participate in if I hadn't just started work at a BigLaw firm.

Voices from the Past


I've taken the recent move as an opportunity to finally clean out the trunk of my car, a chore that has been a long time coming. My car is finally free of law school textbooks, which have now either been thrown away (the stupid paperback study guides) or arranged handsomely on a shelf in my new bedroom. I also found the rope and duct tape implicated in this post from four and a half years ago, the Iliad book on tape that I used to listen to while driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco during my first year of law school, an ocarina from John and Julie's wedding, a Eurail map from my honeymoon, a half-empty bottle of motor oil, a mostly-empty bottle of windshield wiper fluid, and the recorder from my third-grade music class. I'm pretty sure this last item is officially my oldest material possession, or at least the thing that I've owned for the longest time.

And finally, I came across a pocket notepad from my junior year of college, this time frame having been determined based on the fact that most of the notes contained therein pertain to my poorly-executed duties as EIC of the Heuristic Squelch and slightly better-executed duties as chair of the SQUELCH! Party. Apparently in this capacity I once went to 7-Eleven and got somebody a Dr. Pepper fountain drink, sized one below Big Gulp, and a king-sized Snickers bar.

In addition to these notes, there are some truly cryptic things which I will likely never understand. For example, at the bottom of a page listing the ballot numbers of the SQUELCH! candidates, I inexplicably wrote "Don't answer phone on Tuesday" and underlined it three times. I don't know what that's about. On the very next page, there's this:

Again, I have no idea what this is supposed to be other than a female stick figure spray painting a wall on March 9, 1999. I don't know why I created this.

Finally, there are these two quotations, both on the same page:

"You're too thin. Have you ever seen a fat person with AIDS? Hell no."

"Beware of Greeks! Greeks bearing gifts! But he didn't bring me any pizza."

I'm almost positive that the latter quote is something I heard Preacher Eddie say and immediately wrote down for obvious reasons. The former quote is most likely not a Preacher Eddie quote, though I likely overheard it at some point close in time to when I heard the Preacher Eddie quote.

For the record, I'm pretty sure that getting fat is not an effective means of protection against AIDS.

That Was Somewhat Clever of Me

Dr. M and I moved into our new apartment on Tuesday, and there have already been some hiccups. Setting aside the difficulty of getting our phones and Internet set up, today I discovered a problem with our dishwasher. I actually noticed that something might be up a few days ago, when I was emptying the dishwasher and saw that there was a large blob of unspent dishwasher soap on the bottom of the dishwasher. Needless to say, this soap hadn't done us any good in terms of making dishes clean.

I thought it may have been a flukey thing, perhaps a malfunction of the soap dispenser or the result of having used too much soap. Unfortunately, I ran another load this morning and found that the soap blob had grown. I also noticed that the dishes were bone dry. To be sure, the dishwasher has a drying function, but those don't usually work very well, and at the very least one might expect to find some residual water in things like the lips of tupperwares and other things that tend to hold onto their water during the drying cycle.

And so, I put on my scientist hat and decided to do a little experiment. I emptied out the dishwasher, put a chunk of brown sugar in the silverware tray, and then ran the dishwasher. Being as it is that sugar is supposed to dissolve in water, I knew that if I were to open the dishwasher after the cycle was complete and find that the sugar was gone, I could reasonably conclude that the dishwasher was actually using water (and that the drying cycle was simply outstanding).

I let the dishwasher run, did some laundry, unpacked some boxes, wrestled with the DSL connection, and then checked the results. I opened the dishwasher to find... a perfectly intact lump of brown sugar, exactly where I had left it. No change at all. This was a problem.

I called over to the management company to report my findings, and they said they'd send someone over. Two dudes showed up a few hours later (while the guy from AT&T was downstairs checking the phone lines), and quickly discovered that the valve under the sink that makes water go into the dishwasher was closed. They cheerfully opened the valve by turning a knob and then left.

I felt proud of my sugar experiment, but then realized that I wasn't clever enough to actually check the extremely simple plumbing under the sink to make sure that the knobs were in the correct positions. So I'm smart enough to verify that a problem exists, I'm just not smart enough to solve it. Guess it's a good thing I've returned to life as a lawyer rather than a law clerk.

Ireland, in Photo Form

Now that my computer is finally communicating with the outside world again after our move back into the bosom of the Silicon Valley, I've just completed the herculean task of resizing, organizing, uploading, and captioning a whole pants-load of photos from our Ireland trip. They may be found here. Peruse at your leisure.

I'm hoping I have the energy to post some narrative accounts of our various adventures and tribulations, but a lot of that will depend on how the new/old job goes, and whether the cats will ever manage to get over the stress of relocating and leave me alone for five minutes.

That's where I'm at.

Live from the Shannon Airport


The reason this blog has been silent for a while is that I have been in Ireland. I'm now in the Shannon Airport killing time before my flight to Boston. Dr. M and I had to drop the rental car off at ten a.m. this morning. Our flight is at 1:30. We gave ourselves two and a half hours to get to the airport, left a half hour early, and got here in 90 minutes, meaning that we've had, and still have, a lot of time to kill. Dr. M is reading a trashy novel she picked up at a second-hand book shop (that's what they call used book stores over here), and I'm taking a break from God Emperor of Dune to use up some of our Euros on some Internet action.

Expect a horseload of photos when we're back in the states and settled in, along with a lot of stories and snarky comments about the way they do things over here. For now, I'll just say that our animal encounters in the land of Erin have been very pleasant. There are sheep for days over here and they don't mind if you stare at/photograph them (though they tend to scamper if you get too close). At one guest house, there was a dog who stole my slipper right off my foot, which was a whole ordeal but very amusing, and at one of the sweater shops on one of the charming little islands we found a kitten napping amongst the merchandise. The kitten hung out on Dr. M's lap for a while before the owner of the shop told us that the kitten had to go, which was understandable but also sad. I didn't encounter any animals crawling on the walls of any of our accomodations, which is always a positive.

The Euro cents, they are a-ticking. Seacrest out.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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