Here’s a nice blog by a nice guy.

While at work and spending time researching companies and industries in the area, I found a link from a local recording studio to No Sweat Apparel, and the blog of the owner, Adam Neiman.  In his most recent post he discusses how being a Jew and the election of Barak Obama have inter-played in unexpected ways.  It’s worth a read.

Other entries on his blog were also very insightful and well written.  I recommend you check it out.

-Greg

Some late night thoughts on movies.

I just watched the second chronicles of Narnia movie this evening.  It was okay, but it wasn’t as good as the first one.  This led to a brief discussion on movies, and what makes a good one.  That led to me thinking of some of my favorite movies, and what moments I like about them, including the first Narnia Movie.  Everybody has certain “parts” of movies that is their favorite.  These are some of mine:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Magic moments:  the reveal of the wardrobe, and the closing scene in the middle of the credits.  Everything else was just a decent adventure film.

Signs.
“There’s a monster outside my window.” and the realization at the end.  Other than these two excellent scenes, the movie as a whole was marvelous.

X-Men1.
the opening scene and “What makes you think I’m after you?”

X-Men2.
Magneto escapes, Magneto turns the tables at the end.

The Incredibles.
Mr. Incredible’s back pops back in, Syndrome looks down to see a sports car flying towards him.

Oceans 11.
Practically every scene, but especially the heist.  This is one of my all time favorite movies.

Bandits.
The cops at the drive through.  The brain tumor.  The final robbery.

Spirited Away.
first entering the world, the stink spirit, the train ride.  Another favorite movie, it’s hard to chose favorite moments when there are so many in the beautiful film.

Star trek 2.
“by the book.”

Rainmaker.
Opening monologue, and “this is how the uninsured die.”

Galaxy Quest.
The stompers.

what are some other good movies and their best moments?  I’m too tired to think of more.

A Brief History and Comment on Prop 8

I wrote this as a comment to Greg’s post from a little while back, but decided to put it on the front page instead. I’ve been blown away by news out of California. This whole thing has been just amazing. I’ve compiled a brief history here for context:

1. In the year 2000, California citizens approve California code amendment banning gay marriage (prop 22) with 61% majority.

2. State legislature TWICE approves bill allowing gay marriage (which would nullify the democratically enacted code amendment).

3. Governor twice vetoes the bill, citing the aforementioned democratically enacted Prop 22.

4. In 2008, California Supreme Court strikes down the democratically enacted code provision as unconstitutional (against the California constitution). The Court based its holding on the unprecedented view that sexual orientation was a protected class.

5. In Nov. 2008, California voters approve a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only allowed between one man and one woman.

6. Today, Gay marriage proponents gnash their teeth, protest outside of temples, burn scriptures on LDS church doors, attack the elderly, make threats, intimidate proposition backers, and generally lose their minds. Oh yeah, they also have challenged the constitutionality of the constitutional amendment.

There is a theme running through this brief narrative: overriding the democratic will. Instead of garnering enough support to vote down these propositions, they have to sneak their tax perks and the title “marriage” in through some other way. I am amazed that a State Legislature would try to undermine a bill that was enacted by the will of the people.

I am also amazed that a State Supreme Court would read into its state statutes and constitution a provision that makes Gays a protected class when no other court has done this.

Finally, I’m amazed that people are publishing the names of supporters of the proposition in a blatant attempt to stifle and punish them for following their own consciences. Some have lost their jobs or had to resign because of their support of Prop 8. Make no mistake: if these people could get ahold of the ballots themselves, they would be retaliating against individual voters. But because they can’t find many voter necks to strangle, they take out their frustration on the LDS church.

So their ill-gotten gains are snatched away by the will of the people. I’d say “cry me a river,” if I wasn’t afraid that they’d beat-up my Grandma or use a Book of Mormon to set my house ablaze.

Family, Friends, Church, Law… Prop 8.

LISTEN TO ME!

LISTEN TO ME!

California soon votes on a proposition that changes the definition of marriage in some way I don’t understand.  Honestly, I don’t intend to understand it.  I do not live in California, nor do I join facebook groups that support or fight political movements.  (if there were a facebook group that was “people who think things they read in email forwards are true are idiots” then I might join it.  Obama-is-a-muslim/antichrist/terrorist people, I’m looking in your direction.)

I don’t feel bad about not taking time to understand it.  While it could have ramifications which could stretch to my own life in the future, there’s little I can do about it now but encourage those who can vote to vote.

So vote.  There.  I’ve done my part.

What is interesting is a little debate on facebook between a few of my very conservative and very liberal relatives.

Person a says: the LDS Church, headquartered in Utah, should not try to influence it’s membership to vote one way or another.  The Church has to keep it’s nose out of state businesses.

Person b says: the LDS Church has an interest in it’s California and worldwide membership and has an obligation to encourage them to protect the standards they endorse.

I’d have never guessed that a California proposition could reach me here in lowly southern utah.  What’s interesting is that the debate on facebook (between my relatives) is not about the substance of the proposition – which, as I mentioned, I have never read – it’s about who should and should not share opinion and how opinion should be shared.

Is sharing political stance an obligation?  If it is, I’ve been lacking in my obligations.  While I frequently write my thoughts out online, I try to write both sides.  (this is what prevents me from having a high traffic site – I don’t write like an extremist.)  Should I be telling people what I think whether they want to hear it or not?

Here’s to the endless battle between conflicting freedoms.

-Greg

Fare thee well, vista…

Well, Ryan was right, as I knew he would be – at least in the eventuality of time I knew it – that I’d come limping back to linux after another disappointing Microsoft relationship; and that the only thing that could get her putrid smell off of me would be a long hot shower of open source love.

I just didn’t think it would only be a week.

The simple fact of the matter is that without an acutal vista install disk – only a laptop restore disk – I couldn’t negotiate the trecherous waters of that unseen land – the master boot record.  While trying, unsuccessfully, to use the fabled “Ultimate Boot CD” tools I was forced to study my alternatives.

The main thing that kept a partition of our hard drive relegated to a windows product was the need to use internet explorer for certain business transactions.  A simple google search for “internet explorer in ubuntu” revelealed, like moses to the children of israel, a way.

Not that I hated vista.

But it wasn’t that I liked her, either.

-Oreo

Fare thee well, Ubuntu…

The grand experiment is over.  

About a year ago I bought a laptop and destroyed Vista on it in favor of Ubuntu.  Things went very well while I finished my school experience.  I found I had no need for windows to be a productive student.  I learned to enjoy the interface and tools that are unique to the Gnome GUI.  

After school was over, the computer sat at home and was used for other tasks, and mainly used by my wife.  She would take advantage of the dual-boot setup to get into windows. 

Eventually, the computer was pretty much just left in windows all the time.  The partition that I had set aside for windows programs filled to overflowing, till I was installing program files in my ubuntu home directory.  It wasn’t really a bad way to operate, but it was a hassle. 

We talked it over, and since I haven’t got any specific need for linux, and she has a real need for windows… well…  The laptop has been restored to factory standards. (and then stripped of all the cumbersome additional programs that are bundled with the hardware and windows.)

I will miss the elegance of the Linux operating system.  Having now spent about 4 hours (and counting) updating and pruning vista, it becomes clear that vista is a system designed by a bunch of unrelated groups.  The programs, systems, and interfaces all bang against each other like rocks in a sock monkey.   Instead of asking me how I want to operate, these systems try to tell me how I will operate.  

Specifically, what I liked about linux:  

It’s free.  How amazing is that?  Here’s an operating system driven by passion instead of paychecks.

Vastly more customizable than other operating systems.  The icons, processes, desktops, graphic effects, were all as beautiful or spartan as I wanted them to be.  I was never forced to do anything if I didn’t want to be.  I was able to organize better.

More beautiful than windows.  Say what you will about vista’s new looks.  They’re still playing catch up.

Packages.  This was probably (in my mind) the most important difference between the two operating systems.  I didn’t have to search all over the internet for a free version of some program that does almost what I want it to do.  It’s all right there for me to discover, add and delete at my leisure. 

Stability.  I love that I didn’t have to restart Ubuntu after installing, deleting, or improperly using a program.

Speed.  After trimming down vista to its bare needs it actually starts pretty fast, but still not fast enough.

New computer smell.  I mean that since 1995 I’ve been staring at start buttons in the corner of my desktop.  Even when a new microsoft operating system comes out it’s still the same old thing.  With Ubuntu I was able to feel like I was experiencing something really new and unique.  It was exciting to just use the computer again. 

Well, it’s over for now.  And it’s not a bad over, just a change in needs.   But I haven’t give up hope that it wont be long before there will be no need for windows at all.

Lawyer School and Interviewing

I’ve had a bunch of job interviews with law firms and government this week. It’s been pretty interesting because I never could understand why you start getting interviews right at the start of your second year of Law School. It’s kind of tricky because you think your just interviewing for next year’s summer position.

But what your really doing is getting a chance to hear from the employer what they want. You can steer your legal education and tailor it to fit their needs. If you are going to work in litigation (trials), you should put a lot more emphasis in moot court competitions, as well as a school emphasis in what area of law you want to litigate in. If you are going to work in transactions, you need to steer your courses to become an expert in the area that the company needs.

The bottom line: You really need to commit to something. This is a hard undertaking when you don’t know what these new areas of law entail. If you commit, you are more likely to get that job that you dream about.

If you stay diverse and vague, you’ll probably get a job where they don’t care about your experience as long as you’re a member of the bar. That’s fine if that’s what you want.

It might seem elementary that you should study the subject that you want to practice. But I hadn’t realized there was so much opportunity for specialization BEFORE you get out of school. I had thought the law was like medicine, where you specialize after Med school (this might not be true either).