Wednesday, August 31, 2005

When Will It Stop? 

*beep beep*
No boot device available -
No bootable device--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:29 PM

Hurricane = God's Punishment 

I was just wondering this morning why no one had gone here yet. It was only a matter of time.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:19 PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Desperately Seeking Rhythm 

I haven't been able to get into the swing of things yet this semester. Okay, so it's only the second week, but I just feel like I'm going moment to moment rather than being in the overall plan. The new commute from the new office location still hasn't become routine (and it's way time-consuming), the studying routine hasn't established fully yet, the student group activities are still in planning stages, I'm still wading around through various topic choices for my seminars. I need some anchors.

The Girl is going away for her annual Labor Day golf weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to get a handle on things during my annual Labor Day studying fest. But I'll probably spend most of it missing her.

One distraction will be Sunday's painting extravaganza, over at Not A Freak's house (perhaps she'll blog about it later - hint, hint). We're painting their kitchen in lovely Mexican fiesta colors. She assures me she's getting all the prep work done this week. I think knowing that I'm coming over is putting a helpful deadline sensation on it, unlike what I have with those last two kitchen cabinets. I'm apparently capable of putting those off indefinitely.

Yesterday the Student Bar Association (SBA) had a mandatory budget info meeting for all student organizations. It was helpful having all the information ahead of time, rather than the general procedure in the past which was along the lines of "Submit your budget according to our secret guidelines that we won't actually tell you, and if you include the secret codes and pass all our secret tests, perhaps we'll allocate one-tenth of what you requested. But we won't tell you how to access your newly awarded paltry funds. That's another gauntlet through which you must pass."

So it was great having the info, but now we've got to come up with actual budgets for the two groups on whose executive boards I sit. This means wrangling law students into more meetings. Not an easy task. It never ends.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:20 AM
Friday, August 26, 2005

Wes Clark on Iraq 

Wesley Clark has a column in today's Washington Post on his suggestions for the strategy needed in Iraq. It's an interesting read, and I agree in theory with most of what he says.

I do find some of his answers lacking sufficient explanation of justification or funding, such as his statement that "Ten thousand Arab Americans with full language proficiency should be recruited to assist as interpreters." Assuming the government could find that many Arab Americans willing to serve, where will the funds come from to pay them, and where will the personnel (and the funding to support them) come from that are needed to support this corps of interpreters?

I also found his solution to the constitutional issues a bit arrogant in his assumption that they would be accepted:
"On the political side, the timeline for the agreements on the Constitution is less important than the substance of the document. It is up to American leadership to help engineer, implement and sustain a compromise that will avoid the "red lines" of the respective factions and leave in place a state that both we and Iraq's neighbors can support. So no Kurdish vote on independence, a restricted role for Islam and limited autonomy in the south. And no private militias."

Easy enough to say, but clearly not easy to get approved.

But overall, I find his framework with an emphasis on equal efforts in diplomacy, military and politics to be logical, and would have been helpful had the administration been following something similar from the get go.

He'll be online at the Washington Post today at 2 pm Eastern time to discuss his ideas. You can submit questions and comments before or during the discussion, and the transcript will be available later.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:43 PM

Accounting - Strong Enough for Men, But I Like It Too 

The first class of Accounting for Lawyers was last night, and I found it interesting. The professor clearly is into it and enjoys what he does. He held my attention, even though he meandered into his Republican politics momentarily while explaining that he's recently moved to Maine after living in Massachusetts all his life and being unrepresented in Congress by "certain senators who won't be named. Like Kennedy." He's now much happier in Republican Maine, with his Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Although he's basing this happiness on one of his new neighbors having told him that Olympia Snowe is "pretty good." Oh, and the professor referred to her as "Senator Snowden or something." But as long as he sticks to the accounting, he seems fine.

The enrollment in the class struck me as a bit odd, though. First off, the registrar lists the enrollment max as 85, and it's in one of the biggest rooms in the building. My other 85-capacity class this semester is Wills, Estates and Trusts, and it's full. People I know were wait-listed for it. So I was expecting this one to be packed as well.

Nope.

Lots and lots of empty seats. I looked around to my side of the room, and found that the population was nine guys and me. I quickly surveyed the other side of the aisle, and found seven more guys and four more women. So there are 21 people in this 85-seat room, and only 5 of those 21 are women. I haven't been this outnumbered since my AP Physics class in high school (2 girls and about a dozen boys). In 1981-82 Irena Rakin and I were the first girls to take AP Physics in my school in about 16 years. But back to the present.

All my other classes at NESL have been fairly well-balanced, with the balance being towards more women if anything. NESL was "founded in 1908 as Portia Law School, the only law school established exclusively for the education of women." It's been coed since 1938, and became New England School of Law in 1969.

On my side of the room it was really strange, because there were two of us in the 2nd row, one guy right behind me (the three of us ended up clustered together because neither of them had the book yet, so they looked on with me when he referred to a balance sheet in the text), but the other seven guys were all lined up at the far end of the last row. It was like they were the sports reporters at a ball game.

At one point the prof. was saying how when you're in a partnership, the government doesn't care if it was you or your partner who stole the tax funds. They'll come after whoever they can get. He then said it's like in The Fugitive, when Harrison Ford is backed up against the end of the outflow pipe, with a huge drop behind him, and he tells the US Marshal... "Who was that, that played the marshal?" Of course I piped right up with "Tommy Lee Jones." He didn't quite catch it, and asked me to repeat it, but before I could, all seven of the sportcasters chimed in "Tommy Lee Jones." I think perhaps they were embarrassed to have been bested on a piece of manly movie trivia by a girl. Or maybe they were just sucking up. In any event, it was wierd.

Oh, and his point was that Harrison Ford tells Tommy Lee Jones, "I didn't do it," and Tommy Lee Jones, whose only job is to catch the fugitive, not judge his innocence, responds, "I don't care."

So if you're in a partnership, make sure those taxes get paid. And if you're in a mostly empty classroom with a bunch of your friends, either spread out a little bit or move down a couple of rows so you don't look so silly.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:54 AM

Undiscovered - Worse Than Gigli? 

I see by my Rotten Tomatoes weekly e-mail on new releases that one flick opening this weekend has rated an awe-inspiring ZERO on the Tomatometer. Even Gigli got a 7.

Undiscovered is a tale of aspiring artistic types (musician, model, etc.) in Los Angeles. The headliners are Pell James (currently in the critically hailed Broken Flowers), Steven Strait (only previous credit is the Disney teenage superhero flick Sky High), Kip Pardue (a young actor who seems to be getting lots of minor roles that I haven't seen, although he was in Thirteen, Remember the Titans and But I'm a Cheerleader. No, I don't remember him), Carrie Fisher (how did she get involved with something apparently this bad?), and Ashlee Simpson.

Take a look at the review blurbs on Rotten Tomatoes - they're more entertaining than the movie, from the sounds of it. My second favorite is from the Movie Mom: "After a promising start, the script begins to sound like it was written by little girls playing Barbies."

But my favorite is from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
"Undiscovered" promotes one of the stupidest visions of the entertainment industry since 'American Idol' opened the celebrity gateway to the dregs of the karaoke generation."

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:36 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Take Him Out - Not THAT Way 

Poor Pat Robertson's been misunderstood once more. When he spoke of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and said that US Special Forces "should take him out," he meant they should kidnap him or something nice and neat and nonlethal like that. Of course that would still be a violation of Venezualan sovereignty, but hey - it's not murder. Because he of course would never condone such a thing.

What he said on his "700 Club" tv show was this:

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another 200 billion dollar war to get rid of one strong-armed dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

"I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."


Hmm, yeah, I can see how he really didn't mean that we should assassinate Pres. Chavez when what he actually said was "if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." But he really meant kidnap. Or taunt. Or something.
***********************************
UPDATE (8/25/05): Now he has apologized. "Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

But I thought he didn't really MEAN assassinate when he said take out. I can see his frustration, though. It's so inconvenient when people think the US administration is out to get them. Really, it makes you want to just kill them. Oh, wait. Isn't that what they think? So if the US is going to kill them after all, then the person was right. Maybe that's what's frustrating. I give up. What is it with these televangelists preaching murder from their mass media pulpits, anyway?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:08 PM

LGBT College Rankings 

Princeton Review has released its latest college listings in various categories, including Most and Least accepting of LGBT students (as evaluated by students). And the winners/losers are:

Most accepting:

  1. New College of Florida, Sarasota
  2. Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn.
  3. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. (Go Seven Sisters!)
  4. Eugene Lang College, New York City
  5. Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass. (Go Seven Sisters!)
  6. St. John's College, Annapolis, Md.
  7. Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Go Seven Sisters!)
  8. Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis.
  9. Emerson College, Boston (one of my classmates last night in Sexual Orientation and the Law did her undergrad at Emerson - which is right around the corner, literally, from NESL - and commented that the GLBT population was more like 30% than the standard 10%).
  10. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif.

Least accepting:

  1. Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Va.
  2. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. (one of the GLBT students at the ACS convention was from Notre Dame Law School, and was enjoying being in a welcoming environment at the convention, given the total lack of welcome at her school)
  3. Baylor University, Waco, Texas
  4. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.
  5. Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.
  6. University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, Tenn.
  7. Texas A & M University-College Station
  8. College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.
  9. Samford University, Birmingham, Ala.
  10. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (the ACS convention panelist who advocates against adoption by GLBT individuals or couples was from BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School)

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:42 PM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thank You, Vile Little Man 

Thanks to my ethics professor last year, to whom I frequently referred as a Vile. Little. Man., I won't even think of making the mistake recently made by a New York attorney who refused to return her client's passport until her fees had been paid. She had taken possession of the passport and that of her client's son by legitimate means, when the judge in the now-concluded custody case had ordered the passports held as a guarantee that the mother and son would appear in court. The attorney held onto them after the case was over, as security that she would be paid an outstanding $4500 in fees.

While an unreported earlier federal district case, cited by the attorney, held that there was no reason not to view a passport as security (but found that in that instance no agreement had been signed that the passport indeed would be used as security, so could not be), Judge Philip S. Straniere in this case rejected the notion of ever using a passport to secure fees:
"Allowing an attorney to retain a passport in order to enforce a claim for legal fees is patently unfair and allows an individual to act as the equivalent of a government and restrict the movements of the foreign citizen," he wrote. In disputes between individuals, he added, a person cannot hold a passport "hostage" without court authorization or a written agreement, neither of which applied here.
The thing that really endears this case to me is that the judge, rather than reveal the attorney's name, refers to her by the pseudonym Amanda Bonner, the name of the character played by Katharine Hepburn in Adam's Rib, one of my favorites.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:15 AM

First Day Out of the Way 

I made it through. Picked up a shiny red combination lock at Wal-Mart, and installed it on my locker at school. Got the correct book from The Girl at her office. My computer got onto the NESL network without issue (although it seemed to hang during bootup, but this went away after reboot). Got a good seat for Wills, Estates and Trusts, and have friends sitting around me. Saved an end seat for my friend who's due to deliver her first child at the end of the semester - figured she might be needing to take the occasional bathroom break during classes. Saw lots of people, did some catching up, and got back into academia.

And I got home in time to watch Friday's Battlestar Galactica (I like Sharon better than Boomer - she's less whiny. But she's not going to be good for Galactica in the end. I'm glad Starbuck became less lovelorn and self-pitying by the end of the episode. I'm really looking forward to next week's episode, based on the previews), eat the yummy dinner The Girl had made for me (chicken tostadas), clean up the kitchen and get to bed by a reasonable hour. I like this 1-class Monday schedule.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:52 AM

California Parental Rights Ruling 

Details over at NESL OUTLaws on yesterday's trifecta of California Supreme Court rulings which held that parental rights and responsibilities of lesbian couples who have children during their relationship are not terminated with the dissolution of the relationship, whether or not they have registered under California's domestic partnership system.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:48 AM
Monday, August 22, 2005

Hopefully It Will Just Go Up From Here 

First evening of classes tonight. In my usual hyper-organized way, I'm fully prepared. Examples:

I hauled the wrong book with me today. Brought Sexuality, Gender and the Law (6.3 pounds) rather than Wills, Trusts and Estates (3.2 pounds). I don't have my Sexual Orientation and the Law class until tomorrow. The three pounds makes a big difference, since I'm also carrying my computer and power adapter today.

I managed to reach The Girl by phone at home before she left for work, and she brought the Wills, Trusts and Estates book to her office, which is on my way to the T station from my office. A friend who was also one of my bridesmaids (I need a blogname for her) also offered to share her copy with me during class if I ended up not going to The Girl's office.

I forgot the lock for my locker. I signed up for a locker on Thursday. At first I signed up for a "single," but it's about 7 inches cubed. No way I could fit my computer in there. So I changed to one of the "doubles" like I had last year, which are maybe 7 inches wide and deep but perhaps 14 inches high. Hopefully I won't end up sharing (I didn't have to last year), because these things really aren't built for two. The really funny thing is that these double lockers have three or four coat hooks inside. I could maybe hang a baseball cap, but the bill would be resting on top of whatever books were inside.

Anyway, my choices now are to bring home my books and computer tonight and haul them in again tomorrow, or pick up a lock at Wal-Mart during lunch. I might do that, since I need a lock for the gym in the office building anyway.

My Norton antivirus is acting schizy. The school has a new computer security system in place, so when you try to access the network they scan your system to make sure you are have the latest anti-virus and spy-sniffing software updates, and if not, you can't get on. The Guyfriend updated all my programs a couple of weeks ago, and did an overall cleaning for me. So this morning before I left home I logged on and updated my SpyBot, Ad-Aware and Norton. I figured I'd update at home, then run them one more time in the office. SpyBot and Ad-Aware no problem. Norton keeps hanging at the "Getting information" stage of the process. I finally cancelled it and tried again at work, but no luck. I can run it with the existing definitions, but I can't get the updated definitions. And The Guyfriend is on vacation this week, so I can't get him to lay his magic hands on it!

Hopefully I'm just getting all these problems out of the way now, so the rest of the year will be smooth sailing.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:25 AM

Provincetown Trip 


Dune Grass
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
We spent our last weekend of summer in Provincetown, and had a fabulous time. We started off with a tour with Art's Dune Tours, which has been operating in Provincetown since 1946. Then lunch, shopping, dinner, DVD, beach, dinner, etc. Check out the Provincetown 2005 photoset for photos and more details. Tip: don't view the set as a slideshow. Just click on the dune grass picture, then click Next under the thumbnails on the right to advnace to the next shot.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:45 AM
Saturday, August 20, 2005

Relaxation - But So Full 

We just finished dinner at Cafe Edwige here in Provincetown. I loved my appetizer (tuna and avocado tartar), my entree was okay (Provincetown paella - I even ate the little squid - tiny tentacles and all), but I didn't really care for the saffron flavoring or something. The Girl's appetizer was okay (duck spring rolls), but she loved her mixed grill (filet, lamb, apple smoked bacon, and chicken sausage). Then the desserts - oh my!!!! I had a greek walnut cake with honey glaze and cinnamon ice cream. It was more like it had been marinated in honey, and the ice cream was there to cut the sweetness. The Girl had a tres leches cake, which was out of this world. Sweet, rich, mmmmmmmmm good.

I've managed to finish my first week's (2 classes) reading for Wills, Estates and Trusts, and about half for Sexual Orientation and the Law. I've got my topic for class discussion for Non State Actors. No assignment published for the other two classes.

Off for more relaxation!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:08 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2005

Intelligent Design 


Shells
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
I drive a soft top Jeep Wrangler, and I've had the top down as often as possible this summer. It helps that we have both covered and uncovered parking at work, so I can just pull it into the covered area when there's a chance of afternoon showers (which was the case most of late July/early August). I've got a bunch of shells sitting in this little compartment on the dashboard, and they tend to blow and roll around with the road curves and wind. Occasionally one will fall out and I have to retrieve it off the floor at a red light.

But today when I arrived, I noticed that the shells had lined themselves up in a neat line, with all but the smallest even oriented in the same direction. Clearly this is the proof of intelligent design they've been seeking in Kansas and Tennessee. Nothing like this could possibly have happened through random chance!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:07 PM

Last Hurrah of Summer 

The Girl and I are heading to Provincetown after work today for the summer's final long weekend at the beach. We'll probably pop in to Cyber Cove at some point, so I'll try to post and update then. Check their web cam - you might catch us online!

In case anyone's wondering, the kitchen cabinets are still not painted. Beach takes priority.

Classes start Monday, and while I may bitch and moan about the bookstore, etc., I'm looking forward to it.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:01 AM
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bookstore Blues 

I've mentioned before that I only have one class left for which I need to acquire the books. The professor never posted the syllabus and/or first assignment, and even if he posted them today it would have been too late to make an online purchase. Since classes begin Monday, I schlepped into Boston today after work. My office has moved out to Metrowest, the suburbs about 30 miles west of Boston, so "running in" to town is no longer a little trip from the office. But I ventured in after work, and even found a metered parking place in between school and the bookstore (they're a few blocks apart). Headed over to the main school building first to check for hard copies of the syllabus, to no avail. But while I was there I went to the security desk outside the library to get my ID all checked and updated for use in the new electronic turnstil security system they've installed. At least I won't have to wait in the line that's going to form for that once classes start.

Next was a merry little walk to the bookstore. Upon arrival I was pleased to see no lines, no waiting. The shelves are still rather unorganized and not completely stocked, but the piles seemed relatively well-marked. So well-marked, in fact, that it took less than a minute for me to discover that the big gaping hole on the top shelf was where my Accounting for Lawyers text(s) should have been. Instead was a barely legible handwritten note conveying that the text(s) are due to arrive on Saturday. Great. We're leaving for the Cape on Thursday after work. Even if we weren't, they probably wouldn't have the books processed and ready for sale by the end of business Saturday. This means that I'll have to go to the bookstore on Monday afternoon, the first day of classes, along with the rest of the herd.

I'm so thrilled.

The thrill was enhanced by the mind-numbing commute I found myself in since I had to exit Boston (empty-handed) at rush hour. I've worked out a nice route from the office to my house on mostly back roads, so I haven't had to deal with total dead-on snarled traffic in a while. It was not missed.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:16 PM

My Trip to DC 


Supreme Court
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
I finally got around to loading, captioning and organizing my pictures from my trip to DC in July for the American Constitution Society National Convention. I had a great time at the convention, but I think I got burnt out on progressive activism. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got back, and it's just now wearing off, two weeks later! Anyway, this is a shot of the Supreme Court. Go to my Washington, DC photo set to see more and read the details.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:15 PM

Virtual Genius 

It's internet quiz time again. This one sent by The Guyfriend.

And here I thought I had more than just an above average amount of "General Knowledge" (i.e. useless trivia) rolling around in my head! Silly me...

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Above Average



A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:17 PM

Crooked Still in Freeport 


Crooked Still in Freeport 2
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
Saturday night we went into Freeport to see one of Steve's new favorite groups, Crooked Still. They're now one of my new favorites as well. The Girl, well not so much. She's not so into folk/bluegrass. These photos aren't the best as I couldn't figure out how to turn off my flash for this illuminated nighttime outdoor stage, but I tweaked and cropped the shots up the best I could. The show was a free concert in a LL Bean's Discovery Park just outside their flagship store, and then they were in Bean's for a bit after, signing autographs and selling CDs.




Crooked Still in Freeport
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
The cellist, while a brilliant and entrancing musician, is a bit...odd. But in an entertaining way. If they come to a stage near you, give them a try. In the meantime, check out some tracks and maybe buy the album from their website.
UPDATE: Their website page has the full MP3 version of two songs, but just 30-second samples of 3 others, with no samples of the rest from the CD. If you go to their Buy Me page at CD Baby, you can hear the first 2 minutes of each track. Now, if you hear "bluegrass" and start sneering and scowling, give them a go anyway. They have a lot of depth and richness - it's not twangy, tinny stuff. Particularly check out Last Fair Deal Gone Down. If you're feeling wistful, check out Flora.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:45 AM

Weekend in Maine 


Steve at Beach
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
The Girl and I took a weekend trip up to Brunswick, ME this past weekend to visit her brother Steve and his wife Joy. We had a fabulous time, which included a Saturday trip to this beach (sorry, don't remember the name, but perhaps Steve could leave the name in the comments?).



Beach Hut in Maine
Originally uploaded by RSLS.

We stayed in their short term apartment in the cohousing community where they're building their lovely timberframe house. No, this is not their lovely timberframe house. You can find photos and details on the construction at Steve's blog, Maine Musings.

But really, their house is going to be a stunner when it's completed in the near future.

This was a driftwood hut that was being worked on by successive groups of beachgoing children throughout the day. One little guy was quite excited to find a number of useful pieces near our beach spot, and was very polite in asking before he dragged them off to the construction site. We told Steve that he would teach his (in-process) child to make a post and beam beach hut.

UPDATE (10:32 am): I found the name of the beach online - Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg. If you look at the picture of the coastline on that site, you'll see where we were - right on that triangular point that juts out to Fox Island at low tide. That's Fox Island in the background of the Beach Hut photo above.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:33 AM
Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Random Ten - Getting Repetitive Edition 

I'm losing interest in the Friday Random Ten. Maybe it will pass and I'll be enthusiastic again in the future. We'll see.

Other Possibilities - Rachel Portman - Chocolat
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls - 1200 Curfew
What You Won't Do for Love - Bobby Caldwell - What You Won't Do For Love
I Confessed to the Breeze - Original Broadway Cast - No, No, Nanette
All the Way From America - Joan Armatrading - Armatrading Greatest Hits
Angel From Montgomery - Susan Tedeschi - Just Won't Burn
Young Americans - Tina and the B-Side Movement - Young Americans
The Only Way (Is the Wrong Way) - Filter - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider soundtrack
It Could Have Been Better - Joan Armatrading - Whatever's For Us
The Prison - Melissa Etheridge - Skin

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:32 AM

The Next Cool Thing 


Portable DVD Player
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
Hammacher Schlemmer has a portable DVD player that is just the coolest. At $150 (okay, $149.95), the price is a lot lower that portable DVD players were just a year or two ago. You can play and watch DVDs on it (along with CDs), or you can hook it up to a TV and it will act like a regular DVD player (includes cables). They claim a fully charged battery will last 2.5 hours, long enough for one in-flight movie (as long as you don't pick any of the Lord of the Rings films or other long-running flicks). It also comes with an AC adapter and a car power adapter.

The Girl and I have more than once taken a full sized DVD player with us on vacation. That's the kind of movie fans we are. This one would be a heckuva lot easier to pack. It's a good thing I'm cash poor right now - this has impulse purchase written all over it.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:16 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gadget Tinkering 

I finally got The Girl's DJ's synched up - mostly. She had about 3600 tracks on her original player, but she had an unfortunate headphone incident which resulted in the connector being pushed into the player and partially disconnected. Dell once again came through, and shipped her a refurbished replacement along with prepaid shipping materials for returning the damaged one. We hadn't gotten it done in the original time frame (after which they can charge for the replacement), but she called them up and got an extension, no problem.

After several ways of copying files over (highlight all, highlight all in a genre, etc.), for some reason there's still a discrepancy of about 40 tracks between the two. That's not counting the tracks she got through pay-for-download, which are locked and not transferrable. After several late nights and bleary-eyed mornings, we agreed that it's close enough.

At one point I had brought them both into my office along with the USB cables, power cables and my notebook, and had a little MP3 station set up in my cube. Unfortunately, there's apparently something in the air in this building that prevented my computer from transferring files. It was running slower than molasses, hanging after 1 file transfer, etc. I tried running Norton, Ad-Aware, and Spybot. Norton took over 5 hours to run - without finding anything. The others didn't find anything either, and the transfers were still hanging.

When I got the whole setup home and tried again, it worked fine - a little faster than the night before, actually. Whatever - must be sunspots.

I've been carefully updating my Outlook calendar with all the school-related info (classes, holidays, exams, etc.). My Palm has been on hiatus over the summer, so I decided it was time to bring it back off the bench. I had brought my synch cradle from home to the office, because the one I had here died and got tossed before the office move. I figure I'll get a USB synch cable to keep with the notebook. Yesterday I brought the cradle but forgot the Palm. Remembered the Palm today, which was totally out of juice. After it was rejuvenating in the cradle for a bit I went to turn it on, and was greeted with the initial setup screen. All my stuff was gone. Agh!!!!! PDF reader, Avantgo, MBTA schedules, pictures - all lost to a power loss reset.

The good news is that when I pressed the HotSynch button, everything was magically restored. I really wasn't looking forward to dealing with the Help desk guys at school to get the WEP reinstalled for the school wireless network. They're very helpful when it comes to notebooks, but it took them FOREVER to set up my Palm last year.

I just tried to pull up WBUR's audio stream, but it appears to be down. It's not the network at this end, since I was able to access NASA TV live no problem (today's Atlas 5 launch had just been scrubbed. They're trying again tomorrow at 7 am).

What will be the next gadget dilemma to pop up? Stay tuned - I'm sure there will be something.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:05 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ideal Class 

The syllabus for my Perspectives: Non State Actors class has finally been published on NESL's website (classes start 8/22), and I'm psyched!

Under course materials it states: "All materials for the course will be distributed in class or are available on-line."

Translation: No massively expensive texts required! I've acquired the required texts for four of my five classes, and have only spent about $240. The only one left to find out is Accounting for Lawyers. In past semesters I've spent in excess of $500 on books per semester. This is a VERY nice change from that.

It's a seminar, with the grading broken down as follows:

Class preparation & participation: 40%
Presentation of research (i.e. discuss the paper during class): 10%
Final paper (20 pages): 50%

Talking and writing - this is my kind of class!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:04 PM
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Shuttle Discover Lands 

I listened on my way to work to NPR's coverage of the safe landing of the Shuttle Discovery and STS-114 at Edwards Air Force Base this morning. NPR's Ina Jaffe was on site, and she brought tears to my eyes. Really. Again.

"There it is! There it is! Oh, just appearing out of the pre-dawn. It's rolling out, it was a beautiful landing, I don't think the nose wheel has touched down yet. The chute is deployed... It looks from here like the nosewheel may be down. It's hard for me to see from here now. It was moving very fast and just went...whooshing past us. But when it appeared in the xenon lights it was magical."

I pulled into the parking area just a minute or two later, and The Guyfriend was just getting out of his car. He knew it had landed but didn't realize NPR had been covering it, so I gave him the play by play, and it was all I could do not to start crying during the telling.

I'm watching the replay on NASA TV. It was magical. Ina Jaffe got it right. I can't imagine what I'd be like if I'd actually been there. Maybe someday...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:39 AM
Monday, August 08, 2005

Swamped 

Too. Much. To. Do. Summer. Ending. School. Starting. Dell DJ. Acting. Up. Must. Fix. Must. Paint. Must. Do. Stuff.

More later.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:43 PM
Friday, August 05, 2005

Out to the Movies 

I've spent most of the week recovering from my long weekend of no sleep. Between that and work, I know I've not been very talkative on here. Oh well.

I'm in the last few weeks before classes start, so we're trying to get lots of stuff done that we'll be less likely to do after the semester commences. We've watched a few Netflix selections (more on Ice Princess and Man of the House later), and tonight we're actually going out for dinner and a double-header. I'm so psyched. It's been eons since we've been out to the big screen.

On deck for this evening: War of the Worlds and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (I saw this as part of my bachelorette party, but I don't mind seeing it again. Really.).

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:54 PM
Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Big Dig Tunnel Name 

Very soon, the new I-93 tunnel going under the City of Boston will have a name other than "The Big Dig Tunnel," or as it's been known more recently, "The Big Leaking Mess." The federal highway and transit bill which is on its way to Pres. Bush for signature, authorizes that the tunnel shall be named the Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. Tunnel.

Tip O'Neill was a US Representative from Massachusetts, and was the powerful and long-serving Speaker of the House back when the House was under Democratic control. He worked long and hard to secure funding for the landscape-changing project that has opened up streets of downtown Boston to the sky once more. I-93 used to be an elevated highway that ran like a scar through Boston, separating the business district from the waterfront, and casting darkness and exhaust fumes over the road and pedestrian ways that passed beneath it. The project is also introducing "more than 300 acres of landscaped and restored open space, including over 45 parks and major public plazas."

Our ambitious governor protested the proposed name, and instead wished the tunnel to be named the "Freedom Tunnel." He would have had another smaller portion of the Mass Pike named after O'Neill, and states that the "Freedom Tunnel" would be an effort to honor military veterans from Massachusetts. Of course, this might have been more clear if he had suggested naming it the "Massachusetts Veterans Tunnel," but that really wouldn't have been so catchy or conducive to national promotion.

I'm thinking that his proposed name is instead yet another effort to honor his presidential ambition. Much better that this conservative Republican candidate be known for naming a major landmark "Freedom" than for allowing a major landmark to be named for the iconic Democratic leader who strived so hard to make it happen.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:43 AM
Monday, August 01, 2005

Wonderfalls Lives!!! Sort of. 

Logo, the new gay network owned by MTV, is running episodes of Wonderfalls this month. Cool! Now if only they could put the show back into production...

Of course, our cable provider (Comcast) has not yet added logo to our lineup. I've filled out the request form on Logo, which they'll forward to Comcast. Go here to check if your provider has signed up yet, and to ask them to if they have not.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:08 AM

Post ACS Convention 

I was planning on posting a few of my RSLS around DC pictures today, but of course I put the USB cable in my other bag before returning home. I'll try to put them up this evening.

The ACS Convention was a fabulous weekend - I strongly recommend it for any other progressive-minded legal types (mostly law students, lawyers and judges were in attendance, although there were other folks as well). Apparently one of last year's speakers referred to the event as "my annual spa for the mind," and I have to agree.

Many tales to tell, but sadly I also have work I have to get done. This whole day job thing really blows...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:01 AM