Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Survey says....

And I'm in.  I'm completely floored and amazed that I've managed to pass the Florida bar in my first attempt.  I had honestly thought that I would have failed the local portion of the exam, but looks like the gods of Barbri pulled through in the end.  I had checked online last Monday, April 23rd, and next to my ID number were the magical words:  PASS  PASS  PASS.  A wave of relief washed over me.

I'm usually not an optimist, though not a pessimist, either.  Call me "cautious."  In any event, I decided not to call my family with the good news until I had physical proof, over the US Post Office, that I had indeed passed the bar exam.  The results took a couple of more days to arrive, and then it was time to call everyone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Finished evidence, on to real property

The last couple of subjects, criminal procedure and evidence, have been slow going.  They are very mechanical, rule based subjects, something that my background in engineering should find interesting, but just looking at all the rules, traditional common law exceptions, federal rules, etc., made simply covering the material exhausting.  I don't look forward to having to go back and start memorizing all that stuff.

Real property and torts left in the main outline.  Real property has always been fun.  Similar to every other subject, it has lots of rules, but for some reason I enjoyed property - one of my favorite 1L subjects (first year law).  I think I'm a bit behind my original study plan, but nothing to make me worry so far.  My goal is to have the outline read by next week and move to the Florida specific outline.  Once all that is read, go back and start memorizing, which should lead right into the lectures.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Older movie spoiler review: Source Code

Jake Gyllenhaal is
Captain Colter Stevens
And here we have another chapter in our older movie spoilerish reviews.  This time around, we have the pseudo sci-fi movie Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga.  Source Code is a well crafted movie with an interesting premise.  The movie opens with Gyllenhaal awaking with a start in a commuter train.  Monaghan sits across from him and she's chatting with him, thanking him for his previous advice.  Gyllenhaal is disoriented, has no idea who Monaghan is, and says to her that he is Captain Colter Stevens, a helicopter pilot serving in Afghanistan.  Monaghan laughs, as she had been addressing him as Sean, and asks him whether he is fine.

Gyllenhaal then catches a glimpse of himself on the train window, and is suddenly even more confused.  He dashes to the restroom, and discovers that his face isn't as he remembers.  He returns to his seat, and after a brief conversation, the train explodes suddenly.  Gyllenhaal then awakens inside a dark chamber, strapped into his seat by a military style seat belt.  He is a bit gaunt, paler, and seems in distress.  A voice calls for him, saying that "this is Beleaguered Castle," and issues him commands.  Gyllenhaal is still confused, and doesn't recognized the person on the screen, a Captain Goodwin, played by Farmiga.  She then begins a cryptic sequence, involving cards and a woman, and suddenly Gyllenhaal remembers who Farmiga is, but is still confused about his whereabouts.

GTI unleashed

The new Serron wheels available only
in the autobahn package for the GTI
So...the standard GTI sold by VW in the US is rated at 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque.  It is a nice looking car, with superior interior and exterior build quality, and if you splurge on the top tier package, the Autobahn, you get leather seats, navigation, sunroof, fancy LED daylight driving lights, and a new kind of allow wheels, known as the Serron, which were introduced first in Europe in the Adidas edition of the GTI.

It is no slouch on the road either.  It can get to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, but if driven conservatively, yield a generous 25 mpg combined for the manual transmission.  Fancy pants DSG (a hybrid automatic/manual transmission) yields 27 mpg combined.  However, these numbers fall short of other import competitors such as Subaru and Mazda.  Of course, the Japanese imports lack some of the finesse, in both interior and handling, that the GTI brings to the table, but the GTI still falls short.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Amy Winehouse cause of death determined

Amy Winehouse during
better days
Amy Winehouse, the British blues singer with the powerful, soulful voice, who was found dead at hear apartment last July, has been examined by London's St. Pancras Coroner's Office.  Their official determination is that she died as a result of consuming "a very large quantity of alcohol," a level of "416 mg per decilitre" of blood, which is the equivalent of a 0.42 blood alcohol level, or over 5 times the legal limit in Florida, which is 0.08.

The singer, who rose to prominence with her Back to Black album, had been in the forefront of a blues revolution in England.  A number of female singers have followed on her path to success, most notably Adele, whose single "Rolling in the Deep" has reached number one in a number of countries.  Winehouse won five Grammys for her album, including Best Pop Vocal, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year.

10 years of Windows XP

Hard to believe that Windows XP was released ten years ago.  It was the mainstream 32-bit OS from Microsoft (Windows NT, their enterprise OS, was also 32-bit and was released earlier, but Windows 98, the version most people used, was still 16-bit), and rock solid.  So much so that it became the standard operating system for businesses and households everywhere.

It introduced a variety of changes to the OS, from ClearType, the display smoothing mechanism that makes fonts look better on LCD monitors, to the revamped Start button and the taskbar, XP brought game-changing features into Windows, and has an installed base of over 400 million, and probably many millions more of unofficial installations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Echo chamber

It's been a little over a month since I've started this blog, and it helped me put a lot of thoughts on paper.  Nonetheless, I sometimes wonder whether I'm just writing a diary - I seem to have some traffic, but no comments thus far, so in a sense, this is an echo chamber where my thoughts are on display, but no one to talk back.

I have also been feeling a bit under the weather again.  My flu seems to have returned, and I have that general sense of malaise.  Hopefully I'll get better by the end of the week.