Thursday, July 28, 2005

Please Put Your Nuts Away

Did I miss something? Was there some law passed in the 1950s that requires all men age 50 and above to walk around naked, at all times, in the locker room? I just don't understand.

This summer, I have been working out over lunch trying to get in somewhat decent shape. That really hasn't been too successful, but at least I am trying. However, every afternoon when I am in that locker room I feel like I am negotiating an Army obstacle course. However, instead of bullets and bombs, I am avoiding male genitals and overgrown ass hair. This is unacceptable.

I guess my rage came to a head yesterday when this guy, totally naked, was standing in front of the sink with one foot propped up on the counter. Who does that? It was completely disgusting and I had to fight off my instantaneous gag reflex.

So I was wondering, where does this come from? Do guys really do this at home? Most of my friends seem to keep a towel on after to the shower or, and here is a novel concept, they actually use the towel to dry off. I fail to understand while every middle aged, out of shape, male finds it necessary to "air dry" and let his "junk" ride free.

If anyone can help me solve this dilemma, I would greatly appreciate it. Until that time, please mister, put a towel on.

More Supreme Court Stuff

Friends,

I know for many of you, the current Supreme Court vacancy hasn't been in the forefront of your mind. That is understandable, but I implore you to read the attached article. This seldom seen, and seldom talked about aspect of the Court is something that every American should know about.

Please, do your civic duty. Read this article.

Monday, July 25, 2005

DMB Experience

Unbelievable. That is really the only proper way to describe Dave Matthews this weekend. As you know, Rick and I bought tickets to both shows months ago, we have been dying in anticipation for weeks...

Saturday.

The day started off well and we all left Ricky's around 3:15pm. As we headed to Alpine it started raining, and it only got worse the closer we got. When we were about 15 minutes away, the traffic came to a complete stop because the concert grounds were closed. It was bad out, but nothing too serious. There were whispered rumors of a tornado touching down nearby, but that was probably just "concert talk." Once the rain let up, the road became a de facto tail gate party. Everyone was out of their cars, partying and telling their "battling the rain" war stories.

Fast forward several hours (and beers) and we are making final preparations to head into the concert. The rain made everything wet, so it promised to be a messy night. Ten minutes before we left camp Ricky pulled out the "power converters" (read red bull and vodka...heavy on the vodka). Wow, all I can say is that stuff is like liquid crack. Not good. We all got into Alpine fine, but within minutes the crowd pulled us all a part. Each man left to his own devices until we could all meet again. Thrilling.

I will post the complete set list at the bottom, but as you will see, it was phenomenal. Sadly, I really don't remember too much of Saturday's concert (remember that power converter mentioned earlier...that was the cause, this is the effect.) However, they opened with #41, which is my favorite song (most days) so I trust I must have enjoyed it. After about fifteen minutes of enjoying the concert on my own, I find Rick dancing solo in the grass seats. We were happy to see each other, but in a strictly male bonding friendship type of way. Of note, Dave played Sad Goodbye, (which is also my favorite song)which he hasn't played lately. It was a nice little treat for all of us to enjoy. After the tradition of watching people fall down the hill, Ricky and I decided to head back through the mud and link up with everyone again at our truck. The conversations of what everyone experience lasted into the night.


Discerning readers of the set list will see what was an incredible experience (or so I am told). Dave covered the Zombies' "Time of the Season" (basics here) I only wish I would have taped the show--I need a good recorder, these Alpine sessions are too good to pass up).

Go here to see everything he played on Saturday. Wow.

Sunday (See set list here)

The next morning, when I woke up sleeping in Rick's truck, we looked like we had been to war. Both covered in mud and smelly. Not a good combination. Luckily, we were staying at a friends house so we were able to eat, shower and regroup.

We know we were in for a rough day ahead because of the oppressive heat and humidity. It was hot. Like Africa hot. We originally planned to meet up with friends at a nearby gas station around 3pm, but we pushed that back until 5:30. It was just way too hot, sticky and gross to sit in that heat for several hours. Sucks to lose so much precious tailgate time, but it was the right decision. After a couple mixups and lost cell phone conversations, we arrived back in the Green Lot ready to roll. That was at about 6:30pm.

I promised myself I would avoid the Power Converters tonight. I really wanted to enjoy the show. Rick and I entered about 20 minutes before Dave went on. Luckily, we managed to link up with Preston (aka Bubs) and Jessica right away. That was great because we were unable to link up with Bubs prior to the concert like we originally planned. It is so much fun partying with that guy, brings back so many good memories.

When those unforgettable first few cords of "Crash" trickled off Dave's guitar, I knew it would be a special night. What a gift. A short three songs later, I heard the unbelievable. Is this really "Dancing Nancies?" Yes. (Listen to it on the Live at Red Rocks discs--life altering experience) To best honest, this is probably my favorite song and it was great to share it with Rick and Bubs--two of my best friends. (Awe, insert sappy love song here).

While a killer version of Warehouse was whaling away, Preston scored two third row tickets. (This was a great donation by friend that Bubs and I haven't seen a long, long time). Bubs and Jess went down and enjoyed a couple of songs. When they came back he offered them to Ricky and I. I believe his exact words were, "Merry Christmas". Before I had time to act, Ricky had ticket in hand and was making his way down the steps. I actually tried to refuse the ticket...the concert was great, surrounded by friends, life was good, it couldn't get better. Once Rick got done yelling at me, we were on our way to the third row. I was surprised on how much "security" is down there...they literally check your ticket every 20 feet. We got our seats--literally within five feet of the stage. It was unreal. For those scoring at home, Ricky and I made two trips back and forth. We tried to give the tickets back to Bubs at one point, but he refused and told us to do enjoy the finale. We were with Bubs and Jess for "Crush", but got back down to the third row to hear #40 (amazing) "Too Much" and the Encore "Old Dirt Hill" and a mind blowing version of "Two Step."

The crowd was amazing. Not a soul in the place that wasn't dripping in sweat and loving every minute of it. Dave apparently noticed this energy as well when he quipped, "We love playing here, consistently one of the best venues in the world." Big praise, and I think he meant it. If you look at the Alpine set lists in the last couple of years, he always brings out a great show. The energy is there, and I am glad DMB has such a strong connection to our local venue.

After the show, we made the trek to find Bubs, Lid, and Jess to thank them again for the amazing experience. As usual, we didn't find them and were forced to head back to our truck replaying those concert images in our heads.

Overall, it was probably the best concert(s) I have ever been to. I thought these two shows rivaled his concerts in 2000 and 2003. He masterfully combined the "new" and the "old" (eg. "Old Dirt Hill" into "Two Step") and left everyone completely satisfied.

I can't wait for next year.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Dave and I...

Well sportsfans, the weekend is almost here. I just finished watching a minute of my life go by as I stared intently at the clock in my office. If this isn't the most unproductive day of my life, it is surely up there. However, good news is right around the corner...

Blogging will be light (okay nonexistent) this weekend because I will be at the Dave Matthews concert all weekend. They are playing both Saturday and Sunday at Alpine Valley. I can't wait, they always put on a great show, and Rick and I usually manage to skirt the boundaires between a good concert and a stint in the local jail.

Assuming I don't end up a jail bitch in "the pen" I will return on Monday with a full account of the festivities. I may post my initial reaction to DMB's latest studio release (Stand Up) later tonight. I listened to a couple tracks late last night and it was okay, but nothing really stood out.

Check out the DMB homepage for all the details.

PS If you don't hear from me by Monday night, please send bail money. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Eat Crow

Okay, unless you have been living in a van down by the river, you have undoubtedly heard that "W" nominated Judge John Roberts to the US Supreme Court (for all the details you could ever want go here).

Also, faithful readers will remember that I predicted that POTUS would nominate AG Alberto Gonzalez. Some much for that fortune teller shit! Let's hope I have better luck on my upcoming Fantasy Football drafts.

Not sure if anyone has any interest in the SC nomination process, but if there is a lone wolf out there, pipe up!

I am Back...

Friends:

Sorry about the long delay since my last posting. As you may remember, I was working on a law school project which analyzed the constitutionality of Ten Commandment displays on public property. (Thrilling topic huh?) Actually, I found the subject pretty interesting, but from a legal aspect, overly complex. The good news is that I am finally finished and I submitted my paper for review. Now one of three things can happen:

1. My paper will be deemed "worthy of acceptance," I will be asked to join the Marquette Law Review (basics here). Further, the greatness of my paper will lead to it being published in the upcoming MU Law Journal.

2. Same as above, but no publication.

3. Nothing. My paper will be rejected, smeared with manure, light on fire and tossed in the trash.

Honestly, my vote is for number 3. I am not trying to be pessimistic, but it really wasn't the best paper I have ever written. For those of you who care, here is a brief summary:

The case centered around a challenge to a Ten Commandments display located on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol (situated amongst 17 other secular displays). One day this homeless guy, and lawyer, decides the pain the Decalogue inflicts upon him is too unbearable and he sues. (Sense my sarcasm?)

Now the "law" in this area is, legally speaking, a big shitty mess; however, it all revolves around the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion). Basically, when the Court interprets this clause it uses whatever legal test it wants to reach the outcome it desires. Big surprise. In this case, the Court ruled that the monument was constitutional because of its "unique history"--whatever that means.

My thesis was that Ten Commandment displays should generally be constitutional unless they involve some sort of coercion. Simply put, absent any finding of coercion by the government, there is simply no constitutional injury. I could never understand why the guy, who apparently did not subscribe to the Judeo-Christian dogma, did not just turn his back on them? Was he really ever "injured" by looking at the display? I didn't think so.

I will leave it there, unless some comments prompt more of an explanation. I am definitely not a religious nut, and I do believe there is some concern about establishing a religion, but I just didn't think these displays (or holiday Nativity scenes) fit the bill.

Any comments are welcome.

Friday, July 15, 2005

See the Enemy Up Close

Friends:

I hope everyone is doing well. As I was taking a quick break from writing the law paper I discussed in a previous post, I stumbled upon this disturbing video. (access it here).

If seeing this video doesn't make you want to throw up, I don't know what will. It is a haunting reminder what our brave soldiers face everyday in Iraq.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Swamped!

I apologize for not having any new postings the last couple days. I have been swamped with work and trying to finish my writing project for law school. The pain will be over soon. I anticipate a lot more action here once school starts back up in August. In the meantime, I encourage you to slog through these dog days of summer and stayed tuned, you never know what will pop up.

There is one upcoming highlight on my otherwise dormant social calendar. In two weeks I am going to the Dave Matthews Concert at Alpine Valley (basics here.)

This promises to be a great time that will produce some "interesting" stories.

More to follow.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Finally Something That is News Worthy

Oh, faithful readership, thank you sticking with me during the first week. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to stop in and check out what is going on. I wish I had more time to blog, besides being good therapy, I enjoy hearing what you think.

Well, it took all week, but I finally found a news story that is worthy of your attention. One of my biggest frustrations with the news has always been the obvious slant (either right or left) under the guise of "objective journalism." Further, if you are like me, and let's hope you aren't, you will read a story and wonder how in the world it got published.

Put your fears to rest, I promise to canvass the web/blogosphere to find stuff worthy of your valuable time.

Read this week's selection here.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blasts Rock London

Well, not a very pleasant way to begin our morning. Like many of you, I awoke to the news that synchronized terrorist attacks rocked London's most densely populated areas. Although the reports are still coming in, it appears that 2-7 separate, but coordinated, suicide bombers detonated themselves while riding aboard those famous "double decker" buses. Because I have to get back to working for "the man", I will keep my comments brief.

1. This attack outrages me. Imagine how you would feel if someone you loved was riding on one of those buses this morning. They were simply going to work, running errands, sightseeing or rushing home after a long night at work. To have them stripped away, seems so unfair. Be prepared for those talking heads who will want to "understand" why these terrorists hate us (Western Democracies) so much. They will want to "re-examine" our policy in Iraq, positing that if we pull our troops out of Iraq and/or Afghanistan all of this horror would simply vanish. I believe with the core of my being that this is untrue and misguided. As always, I welcome your response.

2. The enemy is smart. These attacks were coordinated and well thought out, albeit "low tech." They are designed to exploit our weaknesses as free countries and target densely populated areas to maximize destruction and loss of life. We will learn a lot from this attack, and put those hard "lessons learned" to use to help safeguard our citizenry. However, this is a cat and mouse game. It is undeniable, that in our way of life, there will always be "soft targets" and our government will not be able to protect everyone, everywhere,and at all times. This is the world we live in today.

3. Although I have never had the pleasure of visiting England, or London specifically, I know that surveillance cameras are ubiquitous. I predict that within a weeks time, they will have the faces of the men (and women?) who perpetrated these attacks caught on video. (similar to the disturbing images of the 911 hijackers strolling through airport security). What does this mean for us? Well, I think it is safe to assume that some well intentioned politician will introduce legislation calling for the increased expansion of video cameras in our major urban centers. I haven't thought about this enough, but my initial reactions are: (1) I believe that video cameras could monitor your public actions 24/7 without violating any Constitutional principles. After all, do we really have an expectation of privacy when walking the streets of a major city? (2) Surely, some will see the use of cameras as the beginning, or continuation of "Big Brother." To me, this is the stuff Hollywood dreams of, but it is just that...fiction. The government has no interest, and insufficient manpower, to casually monitor all of its "subjects." This rhetoric will come though...

4. My sympathies go out to anyone that has loved ones in London, and to the people of England in general. They have been a great supporter of our country and we should stand behind them as they did to us during 911. Also, any comparisons between 911 and today are appalling and uncalled for. I don't think we need to compare "body counts" to determine which attack was more severe or had a bigger impact on society. Both events are horrifying in there own right and do not need external comparisons to validate their death and destruction.

Let's hope the news gets better, but prepare yourself for the meaningless political rhetoric that is about to be unleashed.

Take cover.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Apologies!

I must admit, I am not the sharpest bulb around. I know I have asked, okay begged, for you to post any/all comments or thoughts that you might have on our site. However, it would help if I made that possible for you. I received a lot of email saying essentially the same thing:

"Stegall, you [insert your favorite string of expletives here] I can't respond to anything you write because the site won't let me. Why don't you [again, use your favorite] yourself and stop wasting my time with this 'project' of yours."

All good points. I think I fixed the problem. To reply to something on our site, simply click on the "comments" link under the appropriate post and type away. If that doesn't work, please let me know.

I know our blog is off to a relatively slow start, which is my fault, but I promise to post more once my Law Review project is completed. Currently, I am swamped with materials trying to decipher the proper role of the Supreme Court concerning the role of religion in today's society. Interesting stuff, but there are no easy answers. If anyone of you have any thoughts on the subject, I would look forward to hearing them.

Until then, keep the hate mail coming...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Thoughts on Religion

Okay, I promise not to turn this blog into another quasi-political forum...I know the initial topics have been a little "heavy" for our preferences. However, my current project has forced our views on religion to the forefront of my mind.

The Law Review problem was released today. For those of your fortunate enough not to endure law school, law review is the "credential" that most students desire to obtain prior to graduation. There are two ways to get onto law review: (1) Rank in the top 10% of your class after the first year, or (2) write onto the journal by writing an original work on an assigned project. Needless to say, I was not in the Top 10% after my first year, so I am forced to endure the write on competition.

This years topic is whether the Supreme Court was right when it ruled that the Ten Commandments may be displayed outside the Texas Capitol. (Visit the here for more details and for a copy of the opinion).

My initial reaction is that the Court did decide the case correctly. I am hardly a religious nut, but I think it is undeniable that our country was founded upon certain religious beliefs and that part of our history should not be washed away amid a sea of political correctness. I will keep you posted on how my research unfolds (or doesn't), but I welcome any comments on how you feel about displaying the Ten Commandments. Do you find it offensive?

More to follow later tonight...

And the Winner Is...

Unless you have been living in a cave, and that might be entirely the case with some in this readership, you have undoubtedly heard that Justice O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court last week. This is a huge development and relatively unexpected. Certainly, many of the talking heads predicted that Chief Justice Rehnquist (a WI native) would retire given that: (1) He is struggling with cancer, and (2) he is 107 years old. Don't these public servants believe in retirement?

Anyway, it is my prediction that President Bush will nominate AG Alberto Gonzalez to serve on the Supreme Court. I will keep my analysis brief, but here are the highlights: (1) Presidents like to leave their mark on the Court, and certainly appointing the first Latino to the Court would qualify as an historic feat, (2) he tends to lien to the "right" on many issues, a quality that the Pres has openly stated he was looking for in a nominee, and (3) the Republicans will see this has an opportunity to "shore up" the Latino vote in the upcoming elections. (Deplorable? Yes. Reality? You bet).

There you have it, hot off the press. For more informed analysis go here.

I am looking forward to the nomination process, although I know it will make me physically ill. There is simply no reason for nastiness of today's nomination process. The original intent of our Constitution only called for the Senate to review the qualifications of the President's nominations to ensure they were fit for the job. One of the perks of being the President is that you get to pick and choose who you work with. The Senate has hijacked and distorted this process and now insists on administering its own rectal exam on everyone the President puts forward. Trust me, I know from experience, rectal exams are no fun.

More to follow...


Anyone wishing to join my Supreme Court Fantasy league can feel free to post their predictions here as well.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hear Ye, Hear Ye.

Just in case anyone missed it, the place to be today is Justus' lake front property. Chef Melon is preparing a "fish boil" that promises to be...well, eatable. I am not a huge fan of "boiled" food (had a bad experience with boiled goat in Kuwait) so I may not partake, but we shall see.

If anyone ends up in the hospital with food poisoning I promise post the details here.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Independence Day: Fireworks or Freedom?

I know that many of you won't read this post until after the Independence Day activities have passed, but hopefully a few of you will have time to read this between the beers and brats. I hope everyone has a great time. We are headed out to Rhythm and Booms tonight. The fireworks are hard to beat, and the patriotic theme is everywhere.

Speaking of patriotism, allow me to get up on the soap box for a bit. Try to take some time this weekend and reflect on how lucky we are to be "Americans." Are we, as a country, perfect? No, of course not. However, it is an all too common sentiment these days to be ashamed of our country's past and future. That is unfortunate.

Additionally, thank a servicemember if/when you get the chance. Regardless, of your thoughts on the war, there are good men and women abroad sacrificing more than we can ever imagine. For them, this weekend will not be filled with food, family, friends and fireworks; rather, it will be another day fighting an enemy who wants nothing more than to take our lives and destroy our freedom. Personally, I lost a great friend in Iraq (Eric Paliwoda). "E" was like a brother to me. So many good memories of us getting wild on 6th Street (Austin,TX) and enjoying life. I look forward to seeing him again soon.

Anyway, "don't mean to dwell on this dying thing" so just try and remember to be thankful for what you have and enjoy yourself.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Welcome!

Why? Why yet another blog? It is the question that drives us...

Actually, I decided to start this blog for several reasons:

1. As our blog description reads--I wanted to give us a place where we can all visit, share ideas, laugh, discuss, rant and possibly disagree but live to tell about it. Hopefully, the blog will develop into something worthy of your attention everyday.

2. Like every other blogger, I plan on sharing my thoughts, reactions, rants, etc. on the world as I see it.

3. To memorialize our thoughts and views on various subjects. We all have important events coming up in our life. I plan on sharing my experiences with you and hopefully you will do the same. Additionally, I think it will be exciting to look back months and possibly years from now to see how we felt and reacted to daily events.

I am not sure how this blog will develop, if at all, so be sure to check back often. Until then, grab a beer, and start adding your two cents. Also, I plan on adding pictures to the site eventually (as in once I get a digital camera), but until then you will have to grind through reading only text. However, if you have any pics you care to share (freinds, family, funny events, etc.) please send them my way.

Welcome again!

Onward...