Sunday, 28 July 2013

A scrapping weekend...

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the absence (again).

It’s been a quiet sort of weekend.  The parents are off down at Flinders until Tuesday, so I’ve had the place to myself.  Which might seem a bit ungrateful given that this was where I could turn to when everything went to pot earlier this year.  Still, there’s a limit to how long you can spend with anyone, and I think another weekend with my mother might have had me climbing the walls.  So, this weekend came just at the right time!

I think I’ve put it to good use, inasmuch as I prepared a photographs-and-documents scrapbook of the visit with the girls.  It’s a project I’d had in mind for a bit, but was putting into practice for the first time.  It didn’t turn out quite how I’d planned, but I know how it can look even better next time!  And today I cut out and pasted into another scrapbook a bundle of newspaper clippings I needed to store - I know it’s a pathetic way to have spent Sunday, but it means an unsightly bundle of old newspapers has now been consigned to the flames.

I skyped with the girls last night.  They were as sweet as ever.  Rachel is more talkative and verbal, even if she was having a meltdown when we first made the connection.  She’ll catch up to Grace quick smart - no doubt in my mind.  I love that they love me too like they do - as if this is the most natural thing in the world.

I gave Mass a pass today.  I know … I’m a bad Catholic … I was just enjoying some alone time and really didn’t want to be ‘on’ again for an hour or so.  I’m pretty sure God understands.  When you think about it, He never gets to be ‘off’.  As Augustus Hill said in Oz, prayer might be the thing that makes God regret the act of Creation: “and now God, who just wanted to talk, is tired of listening”.  Hmm.

Oh, and last night I watched No Country For Old Men before skyping.  It needs more reviewing than I have time (or energy) to do here, but I will definitely do a review, maybe over on the Wordpress blog.  There’s a lot to unpack in it,  Suffice to say for now, though, that it’s a strikingly ‘unfinished’ film: the characters are barely introduced, and the climactic scenes tend to take place out of shot.  Not unlike life, the events are happening, you just happen to be getting to see parts of them.

I guess that’s enough for now.  More tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

What? An update?

Hi everyone,

Sorry I'm being such a bad blogger at the moment.  I'm getting to the evenings, and sometimes just have nothing to say,

Today, at any rate, dawned cold.  How cold?  This cold!

Anyway, with some good hot coffee in board I got to the office , although there was frost everywhere this morning.

The day itself was kind of frustrating.  I was trying to draft a briefing letter for an expert who has already prepared a couple of preliminary reports and exchanged a lot of correspondence with us.  Working out what materials he needed to have and what assumptions I should ask him to make was a mind numbing task, not made easier by repeatedly needing to stop to see some clients, go to a marketing committee meeting and go to a send off for some colleagues. At about 3:30pm my brain threw in the towel altogether and I rounded out the day preparing a case note on an Alabama decision that makes some reasonably quotable points about identifying an employment relationship - blogged here:

I finished out the day with a 5 mile run around Victoria Park Lake and a phone call with oldest sister economist for her birthday.  I was able go get her on speakerphone for Mum and Dad and I think they really enjoyed that!

I guess that's everything for now.  More tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How I didn't become an actor...

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the dearth of posts (again).  I guess it's been a bit of a big week.  I'll try and recap the highlights.

Last Sunday was a cool day.  I wrote a couple of letters, including to the girls.  I also managed not to give in to thespian yens...

Let me explain...

So I've had a yen for a while to try and do something in front of the camera.  No, I'm not about to run away to Hollywood and seek my fortune, but it might be fun to be an extra in something, if only to have something more to put on the CV.  So, I set up a profile on (you can laugh any time you like) and I get emails from the site about jobs and the like.  Anyway, last Sunday there was a posting seeking people as extras in a swingers scene in a movie called Mirror of Filth.  I checked a bit, and it did indeed seem to be non-pornographic, albeit rather edgy.  And the auditions and filming were at the weekends, which is obviously critical at present.  I drafted up an email enquiring about the role, and I was about to hit "send".  That's when a little voice in my head reminded me that in about 15 years Grace and Rachel will be wanting to go off to spring break somewhere, and it's going to be difficult for me to tell them to behave themselves when, at some point, I will have had a conversation with them that included the phrase "but Daddy, why weren't you wearing PANTS?".
So instead, I applied for an extras role in a short murder mystery film set in the Gold Rushes.  I'm pretty certain I can keep my pants on in that one!

The week itself was unremarkable: lots of wading through files and setting strategy.  Drinking pots and pots of coffee.  Some divorce paperwork came up which we were able to process efficiently.  I was kind of pleased with myself that dealing with it didn't hurt half as much as it would have done in the past.  I think that's a good sign.

I attended the firm's Friday evening drinks.  I stayed sober and didn't make a fool of myself, although there was some rash talk: I've promised to fry the firm a turkey on the Friday afternoon nearest to Thanksgiving!

It's rained on and off all day today.  I wrote a piece for my legal blog this morning, and in the afternoon made a gumbo with some ingredients I picked up yesterday afternoon.  Not the greatest gumbo - strassburg just isn't smoky enough to give it the right flavour.  But, it was warm and spicy and good on a chilly evening.

Not much more to add: I have a skype date with the girls tonight which I'm looking forward to incredibly.  Will write them another letter tomorrow morning.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Saturday, books and rain

Hi everyone,

Here it is: Saturday night and uploading this.

It's been a quiet couple of days, really.  Yesterday dawned bitterly cold. How cold?  This cold 

And this cold 

The day itself at work was straightforward: more taking over files and working out litigation strategies.  I was tempted to stay for after work drinks but needed to get back to give the poor dog a run.  He was grateful!  Otherwise, a quiet evening of dinner, tv and brushing up on the law of evidence.

Today has been equally forgettable I'm afraid: more evidence law, more giving the dog a run, and much more coffee.  Thick cloud came over mid morning, which meant it was cool but not so bitterly cold.  Parentals got back about 4pm.

Too much tv this evening.  Feel like I dropped a LOT of IQ points, to be honest.  More reading on evidence, then bed.

A big happy birthday, btw, to Second Oldest Sister!!!  Love you heaps!

See you all tomorrow

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

While Burning

Hi everyone,

I'm typing this on my phone while burning a bunch of things from iTunes to CDs so I can play them in the car.  I started just by planning to burn some lectures from the law school at Arizona State University (in gratitude: Go Sun Devils!), and then I thought, why don't I put those lectures on astronomy on disc too?  And then... You get the picture.

It's been a good couple of days.  At work, I'm steadily getting into my stride and feeling more together and focused every day.  The other day was pay day, too.  Did that feel awesome? Does Julian Knight have an image problem?

Truth be told, maybe I'm right for plaintiff work after all.  I know it's early days, but I feel, well, energised at work.  Anyway, it feels good and that's good enough for me.  Although, having good coffee -

and a suitably customised computer -

help the attitude quite a bit!

What else?  Well, the other evening I went to OfficeWorks and printed off my bar review course materials.  All 1800-odd pages of them!  

My firm view is that any lawyer who can pass the damn thing deserves to practice.  Although remind me to swat any of those idealistic "Reprieve" kiddies who airily refer to death penalty lawyers as incompetent.  My firm view is in any case that no intern who happens to be a third year law student has any business referring to a practising lawyer as incompetent.

Bitterly cold here at the moment - regularly -1 or so overnight.  Getting out of bed is not fun in the morning!

Forgot to say that cousin Kevin died last week.  Parents going down for the funeral tomorrow (back Saturday).  I feel pretty bad for cousin Christie, to lose his wife and eldest son in about 6 months, even if death was something of a mercy for both of them.  He's anything but young himself, and I wonder if he'll be long in following them.  The old order changeth.  Sic transit gloria mundi.

Not much else to note. Will try to keep the blog more regularly!

More tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Wet weekend catch up post

Hi everyone,

Typing this up late on a Sunday afternoon.

It's been a good couple of days since my last post.  Sorry about the delays between entries; the return to working life is helping me sleep at nights!

Anyway, Thursday and Friday were both good days, ploughing through files, getting on top of them and getting to grips with the litigation strategies involved.  I really do still have a good feeling about this job - like I'm really going to be happy here.  By way of underlining the point, this was the view on the drive to work on Thursday.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I've now signed up to do a course in preparation for the Texas Bar Exam next year.  Time to put my money where my mouth is.

State Bar of Texas ornament 
Image from here 

Friday evening happened to be the firm's mid-year dinner, at the Butter Factory in Euroa.  It was a first class venue, and I'm told by some of the folks at work very popular for wedding receptions.  Certainly it was a spacious but warm venue, and the food was as good as you'd expect.  They served a beef roast that was to die for, tender, quite rare and full of flavour.

Those of you who know me well may be relieved to know that I managed to get through the evening as the most sober non-pregnant person there and also managed not to shoot my mouth off.  As a result, I should still have a job tomorrow morning!  I'd left my car at the property of one of the partners, which was halfway to the venue and about three paddocks from here (the firm had arranged a bus between the venue and the office), so I was dropped off there and drove back here about midnight on Friday.

From there, it's been a quiet weekend.  Dad returned to Flinders yesterday feed the cattle down there, which has meant it's been just mum and me here.  Weather very cold and rainy, so aside from some longish walks to keep the dog entertained, I've been reading and also catching up on my networking via LinkedIn and the wide wide world of web.  This, incidentally, was yesterday's rain.

Aside from networking, I wrote a couple of letters yesterday and read a fair bit.  Watched way too much TV last night.

This morning didn't exactly dawn as much as it slouched out of the fog.  Was it cold?  It was bloody cold.

Photo: Foggy and f*ing freezing this morning at Shepparton!

 I've kept wading through back issues of journals and books today.  This was the harvest from my night stand, so you can see why I need to catch up.


I'm still getting on top of all the features of the iPhone.  Next step is FaceTime!

Not much more to add.  I'll post something further this evening if there's anything at all to report.  It seems odd to say it, but I'm actually looking forward to tackling work again tomorrow.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dawn post

Hi everyone,

Typing this a little before 7am after a bitterly cold night.  Sorry I didn't post last night: 11pm came and I passed the eff out!

Yesterday was a good day at the new job. It was a pretty drive to work, with a lot of mist hanging over the paddocks on either side of the road.  The day itself saw me beginning to get properly into my stride with the work, and even able to make a few useful suggestions on the subject of marketing!

Uncle Greg and his tribe stayed over tonight on their way to Mansfield.  Not sure if they're here two nights, although that'd be nice: having kids about really adds life to the place!

Getting on for 7am so I guess I should get showered and dressed.

More later.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The new job

Hi everyone,

Sorry it's taken me a while to post this: a couple of evenings of crashing into bed dead tired does not consort well with active blogging.

Yesterday I started the new job.  I have to say, I like how it's shaping up!  It's a smaller firm, about 25 people, but that means I've now met nearly all of them.  Unlike the last two jobs, where induction took a solid 3+ days, induction took about 90 minutes, and that included learning where the toilets were!

I'm actually rather liking the idea of small town practice: every time I mention where I'm living people say something like "oh, that's just down the road from my cousin!". When I went to the Telstra shop today to change my phone service over and join the iPhone generation, the sales assistant mentioned that at the weekends she plays netball for Murchison, and I could truthfully say I'd seen them mentioned on the local TV news.  I kind of like that.

The work is very much TAC, which I'm a tad rusty on but can certainly get my edge back. I have a very good feeling about it!

I've been looking at the process for applying to sit the Texas bar exam and also at various bar review courses. It's both less and as daunting as you might expect.  I still have to do it though, both for my girls and for me.  I refuse to wind up how one imagines Granville from Open All Hours did, a sad old flop who life passed by, eternally mumbling sentences that include the word 'coodabeen'.

At the risk of cliche, the things you most regret will be the chances you didn't take.

Well, it's time for me to sleep.  Have a good day peoples!

More tomorrow.