PAgent’s Progress

Words Are My Favorite Toys

April 19th, 2006

Them’s Good Eatin’

The girl had a rough evening tonight. Nothing went her way. She was very wound up at dinner, and her mother and I were on her case all night long for innappropriate behavior, being grabby, eating too fast, etc. Then she realized she forgot to bring home her homework, which meant she would have to do it instead of recess tomorrow.

Then, she and her brother were sent to bed early as a consequence for a screaming match just before bed last night, and they were not happy campers. Ten or fifteen minutes after they were sent to bed, I went back to check on them. As I walked down the hallway to their rooms, I heard them both in the boys room, talking excitedly. Expecting to have to lay down a Fatherly tirade, I tiptoed in.

The motion sensor light had gone off outside the girl’s room, and the girl had peeked outside (expecting to see one of the friendly neighborhood raccoons) only to see a possum (or more accurately opossum). She had hurriedly awakened her brother, and they were bouncing off the walls as they watched this big fat possum waddle through the yard.

It was a big one, too. It looked like it could have weighed 20 pounds. Eventually the wife came back to find out what the commotion was, and we all peered through various windows as the little marsupial trundled through the yard, under a streetlight, and off to the creek across the street.

The kids got sent back to bed, with an admonishment to go straight to sleep. But my daughter, who had been angry and upset all evening long, was now a bundle of joy, and quietly giggled to herself for at least another half hour, whispering “My first possum. I saw my first possum.”

Thank you, Brer Possum.

April 19th, 2006

It gets lonely drafting patents…

No one knows better than I the pressures of the patent practitioner; The long hours behind the desk, the close personal relationship with your computer. Not everybody is cut out for such stress. Still, it’s rare to actually see evidence that someone has snapped. Lost their perspective. Taken it all too seriously.

For example, look at U.S. Patent no. 6,494,763 to Hastey for a ‘Life-like Doll’. It’s a straightforward patent, directed to an internal skeletal structure for dolls. It’s all set out in the Abstract:

And certainly the internal framework looks perfectly normal. Nothing unusual here.

But when you look at the doll with the body in place, things begin to go somewhere odd:

Holy Crap! That doll is stacked! And check out the hair! What is this, Baby’s First Playmate of the Month? No, no. It MUST be my imagination. This is a TOY patent. I’m sure it’s not as … risque as all that. Maybe the rest of the figures…

Oh, Good Lord.

It’s certainly possible that these figures came direct from the client. I’ve seen stranger things. Still, part of me can’t help but wonder if some poor patent attorney just got too damn lonely after all those hours of word processing, and got a little carried away sketching dolls for the latest toy patent….

April 19th, 2006

Joe Jamail Conducts a Deposition

The Texas Lawyer’s Creed, as promulgated by The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1989, includes the statement:

“I will be courteous, civil, and prompt in oral and written communications.”

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell when the following clip was recorded. It features infamous Texas attorney Joe Jamail conducting a deposition, questioning a witness that appears to be a former Monsanto research scientist. (Note: strong language)

What a sterling example of civility and decorum for other attorneys to emulate.

April 19th, 2006

The Final Countdown

As a child of the eighties, I have a certain fondness for the music of that era, from the quirky beats of Devo to the excessive manes sported by the Hair Bands. But regardless of my personal feelings, nobody, nobody, not even Europe, deserves to have this done to one of their songs:

I’ll be hearing this in my nightmares.