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May '06

Happy Belated Birthday, oh blog of mine.

I forgot to wish my blog a happy birthday, which incidentally is the 18th of April. God damn it, I’m so inconsiderate. To make up for it, I got my blog a link to a picture of a girl coming out of a cake…it just goes to show you, good presents make up for a lot.
Happy Birthday

In other news, CIA Director-nominee and Air Force General Michael Hayden announces before a Senate confirmation committee his continuing solidarity with the Black Panthers.

Michael HaydenBlack Panthers 60s

See the image to the right, where the general was auspiciously cropped out. What can I say…I’m a product of too much artificial sugar and too much Atari.

May '06

I’ve been examined orally.

I just completed the first oral exam of my life. Thankfully, I was examined by a woman. See, I’m an American, and you know how we feel about…well, you know. I’m in a foreign country, so I should be flexible, right? You can take the boy out of the bubble, but you can’t take the bubble out of the boy…or something. What does this have to do with Bubble Boy? I don’t know.

So as you all know, I’m in Denmark, which does everything differently. There is a very Danish way of grading students that bears absolutely no resemblance to the American (correct) system:

13 Given for the exceptionally independent and excellent performance (very rare)
11 Given for the independent and excellent performance
10 Given for excellent, but not particularly independent performance
9 Is given for the good performance, a little above average.
8 Is given for the average performance.
7 Given for the mediocre performance, slightly below average
6 Given for the just acceptable performance
05 Given for the hesitant and not satisfactory performance
03 Given for the very hesitant, very insufficient and unsatisfactory performance
00 Given for the completely unacceptable performance

Suffice it to say I’m up there between 6 (necessary to make the past 6 months not a complete waste of time) and most of Strøget). I know it’s not very “janteloven” of me to toot my own horn (which I cannot do, as I am too tall), but I’m not Danish. I’m never going to be Danish, and I’ll never be accepted as Danish, so phht. This is about how welcome the average foreigner feels in Denmark:

Outlandand” src=”http://www.berkeleybreathed.com/Images/alien_chase.gif”>
But my grade was definitely something to write home about. Use your imagination.

Honda Number 11

Finally, it wouldn’t be my blog without “in other news”…

In other news, a new underwear fashion trend is rocking Scandinavia. I saw a girl on the train back from Århus with a thong over bikinis. What is the purpose of double bagging the pink taco? Does the beaver box need extra protection? I am intrigued by the mystery of the two-ply silk snatchel; it must cover some dangerous poonany. Needless to say, I stayed away. My only regret was that my camera battery was dead.

May '06

Summer Ferry…uh.

Every good scientific theory is grounded in a question. Usually, the question stems from some strange quality of life, of nature, of the world. The question I pose here is this: where do all the ridiculously hot Danish girls go during the cold-weather months? It would seem, if you have happened to be in Copenhagen during most of the year, that the population of gorgeous women goes drastically down when the temperature gets too low. A scholar of much renown (actually, just a fellow law school student) has a theory as to where they go.


Africa. It might sound crazy, but the theory is that when the temperature in Copenhagen breaks below 12 degrees centigrade, a nondescript ferry in the harbor is loaded with most of the hot girls in Copenhagen, and they are sent off to a remote island off the coast of Africa. After the spring thaw, when the temperature breaks above 12 degrees, a phonecall on a closed-circuit, encrypted network is placed to a camp where the girls have been sent to spend their days working out, starving themselves, and lying in the sun. This phone call is to inform the management to send the ferry back.


Then, all of the girls are loaded onto the ferry with their blue bikes and white skirts. By the time the summer ferry arrives, the temperature has reached ideal blue-bike-riding-in-white-skirt temperature. The ferry always arrives at midnight, after which the cargo is unloaded, and the girls go riding from the harbor on the bikes, so that all of the boys in Copenhagen wake up on a beautiful, Danish summer day to find hotties, in white skirts, on blue bikes, riding through the city. I never said it was a good theory.
Girl on bike

In other news, Copenhagen now has a Ben and Jerrys! It’s a beautiful thing.

Apr '06

In Other News Tonight…

I just landed one of those coveted 2L Summer Associate positions. I had to come to a country that didn’t know about my law school to do it, but my career office told me to “think outside the box”. It’s at a great firm, Osborne Clarke. I think there’s an O.C. joke in there somewhere, but I haven’t figured out where yet. I’ll let you know.

Apr '06

Free Cone Day! And Luros.EU

Free Cone Day is one of my favorite holidays. Like all other Jewish holidays (yes, it’s a Jewish holiday, because it’s free), the date changes every year. This year it falls on April 25th.

It’s a day to consider, if I had one wish from a Genie, could wish for anything, and then a friend runs up and asks the Genie, “Could I even wish for any free cone at Ben & Jerry’s!?”. You’d want to beat the fool silly, but then you’d have a free cone. What kind would it be? I’d go for Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. This year I can’t celebrate Free Cone Day. I’m in Denmark, which doesn’t have Ben & Jerry’s. I know! It’s unjust. It’s un-American. Oh, right. I see.

In other news… because I am spending some time in the EU, that gives me the right to register Luros.EU. My takeover of luros domains is almost complete, except for the crown jewel, Luros.com. If only I could get Easily.Net, the evil, numb-skulled ISP in Hong Kong to give it up. They say it has commercial value, and want $7,000 for it. Right.

Mar '06

On snow.

At the risk of seeming really Forrest Gump, do you back in Cali really know how many different kinds of snow there are in the world (or, at the moment, Denmark)? God outdid himself on the snow thing. There is little snow, big snow, slow snow, fast snow, sideways snow, snow that flies upwards, curly-cue flying snow, wet snow, dry snow…umm…and snocones.
Right now, I am contemplating the snow because I need to leave for class, and in the face of all of this snow, I could either bike ride to class or take a bus. Bus is clearly the option that someone from San Francisco would take (wit da Munizzie pazzizle fo shizzle).
However, what if it stops snowing RIGHT NOW? Ok, it’s still snowing. What about now? Snow. What if I don’t look at it for a minute, and walk outside with an umbrella? Yup. Snow. Mind you, it’s been snowing for about a week with no sign of letting up. Perhaps I’m going crazy?

Feb '06

What is wrong with this cracker?

This phrase was uttered by my German friend, Jeanette, upon being presented with a taco shell. No, she was not talking about me. It raises an interesting question, if not an incorrect one, as taco shells are not crackers at all, even when you put pieces of cheese on them. Tomorrow I leave for a weekend retreat in Hundested. It’s an opportunity for international law students to bond, have fun, and leave the books at home. Sounds like class.

Next week, I’m going to Barcelona. It’s about that time where I’m sick of the weather. Why does it have to snow so much? Actually, it has stopped snowing and is now sleeting. Sleet combines the worst aspects of snow and rain. It is fast like rain and cold like snow. It feels like it’s cutting your face, and then it melts and gets you SOAKED. Why is there no “hungover” on the list of moods?

Feb '06

I just received this bulletin from my school’s IT administrators…

All users should note that unused, inactive accounts are now being automatically deleted by the system after 120 days.

What this means is, basically, you can keep your account as long as you continue to use it. Your account will be deleted without warning after 120 days of inactivity.

120 days is a long “grace” period. We’re implementing it now because, with the system growing so quickly, we want to make sure we have licences available for everybody who wants an account.

We are unfortunately unable to send warnings out to those whose accounts are about to expire; there are currently over 2500 user accounts, and it’s simply not feasible to keep up with the large number of accounts.

Translation to English:

Paragraph 1: You’ve been bad.

Paragraph 2: Bad people have bad things happen to them.

Paragraph 3: Society cuts you a lot of slack, and you are still bad.

Paragraph 4: We cannot help you if bad things happen.

However, I’ve worked on these sorts of systems before. The truth of the matter is 2500 accounts is really no big deal. Parsing the list of accounts for last login date and sending out a message to active accounts that have aged (not been used for) 100 days is a trivially simple exercise. Any database developer worth their salt should be able to implement this feature in under an hour. I hate it when untalented software developers (it hurts to call them this; it is a title above their station) cite technical reasons for their laziness or incompetence. Could you imagine a doctor saying, “I’m sorry about that paper cut. There isn’t anything in medical science that we can do to prevent you from bleeding to death. It’s a shame. Can we use your organs for research?” Lame.

Feb '06

I usually don’t deep-link for religious reasons, but…

This is hysterical.

Feb '06

Edits to the list of things I do not want to wake me up

  1. Fire
  2. Fire department

Today, I had the pleasure of being woken up by a familiar kind of individual speaking a relatively unfamiliar language, despite my proficiency in said language. What I realized is that I am not as fluent in Danish through gas mask as I am when speaking to a Dane, who as fate would have it, is not a Danish fireman working a chemical fire. I awoke to see the lights of 5 fire trucks and sound of axes gently banging on my door, requesting my immediate presence there. In typical Danish modesty and understatement, the previously mentioned individuals in gas masks and fireproof jackets told me, “Yeah, there is a little fire on the 3rd floor. Are you alone? Put on this gas mask.” To which I replied, “Ok, yes. Umm…how?” Gas masks and I are strange bedfellows.

Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I must report that when I opened the door to greet my new friends, the Copenhagen Fire Department, their flashlights and gas masks were all that I could see. The rest was a thick, smoky fog. This explained the smoke coming in through the bottom of the door.

I also now know that in the case of a fire, everything you learned from that stupid bear is both worth knowing and at the same time absolutely worthless. You don’t actually feel the door and wonder to self, “Self, is this door hot?” Nor do you go and put them along the bottom of the door. Actually, what Smokey should say in those videos is, “Kids, if there is a fire, you should probably just freak the fuck out.” What do you remember in my situation? Your computer, iPod without headphones (don’t ask; I don’t know), wallet, phone and the first outfit you can find. One thing you do not grab if you are in my position is your set of keys to get you back in to the apartment. If there is a next time, I will forget the iPod but remember the keys. I don’t know what my thought pattern was, but I think it was something along the line of if the apartment is going to burn down, what is the sense in having keys to it?

As if my smoke-induced headache were not enough, now they are chopping up the 3rd floor apartment. Oh, how I love the sound of chainsaws in the morning.