Attorney in the Del.

Reporting on life in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city in a small state. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2006, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who'll Stop the Rain?

I wanna know.

Oversight of the Day

I was watching Fox News this morning between 6:45 and 7:00 AM when they did a segment on Ward Churchill's imminent firing from the University of Colorado. During the piece, they showed muted file footage of Churchill speaking in various locations while the on-air personalities interviewed a guest. As the video played, a sunglasses-clad Churchill was shown at a what looked like a political rally barking with a pained looked on his face while emphasizing his points with wild arm gestures. As he appeared to complete his speech (again, the footage was muted), he backed away from his initial position, bringing some of the protesters in the background into view. One of the newly visible individuals was holding a big purple sign that said in unmistakeable bright yellow block letters:


Of course, there wasn't a dash in place of the U. The sign was visible on national television for a good two or three seconds.

Somebody, or group of somebodies, must not have had their coffee this morning. How did this ever make the cut for use on the broadcast? How first did the person selecting the segments miss the sign? How then did the person (I assume there is a person) who prescreens the video miss it? This was file footage selected by someone, not live video. Considering I had just woken up, hadn't had my first cup of coffee and still noticed it means someone or some people more awake than me royally screwed up when putting the tape together. Weird.

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Why won't soccer ever fly as a favorite American sport? This analysis is spot on:

But there is one obstacle to soccer acceptance that seems insurmountable: the flop-'n'-bawl.

Turn on a World Cup game, and within 15 minutes you'll see a grown man fall to the ground, clutch his leg and writhe in agony after being tapped on the shoulder by an opposing player. Soccer players do this routinely in an attempt to get the referees to call foul. If the ref doesn't immediately bite, the player gets up and moves along.

Making a show of your physical vulnerability runs counter to every impulse in American sports. And pretending to be hurt simply compounds the outrage. Basketball has floppers, but the players who do it--like Bill Laimbeer, whose flopping skills helped the Detroit Pistons win two NBA championships--are widely vilified and, in any case, they're pretending to be fouled; they never pretend to be injured. When baseball players are hit by a pitch, the code of conduct dictates that they can walk it off, if they must, but by no means may they rub the point of impact. And pretending you're hurt? There's not even a rule against that--every red-blooded American baseball cheater knows nobody would ever do that.

Read the whole thing.

Wilmington Courthouse Update

A few days ago I posted about the vacant Wilmington court house on Rodney Square and what a waste it is that it sits empty. Turns out the state is interested in buying it back from Bank of America. This post gives a little bit of the history of the building.

I guess this is a positive step since Bank of America holds it now only as an investment property. But the $10,000 question is, what will the state do with it? My suggestion: turn it into a mall. The city could use some big name retail shops in the downtown area. All the liquor stores, pawn shops, and wig stores currently dotting the downtown landscape can only add so much to the local economy...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Miscalculation of the Day

After parts of Delaware received several inches of rain this weekend, most of the state will be spared today of another dose of showers and thunderstorms, said Dean Iovino a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

That's odd, then what's that stuff coming out of the sky that's been getting everything wet today?

Golf, Cecil County Style

North Eastern Maryland has a reputation as an best to put this...redneck area. If you thought Confederate flags were a faux pas these days, you haven't been to this part of the country, just beneath the Mason-Dixon line.

I crossed into this area over the weekend to play a round of golf. A few holes in, I crushed a fairway wood on one hole about 250 yards. In front of me was a steep hill, the hole tucked somewhere to the left a couple hundred yards over the rise. My playing partner advised that the group ahead of us was far enough away that it was safe to hit. He pointed to a set of three trees and told me to hit the ball to the left of the left-most tree. I walloped the ball on the line he advised and the ball drew back from right to left slightly.

Unfortunately, as we came over the crest, we noticed four men standing on the green staring us down. My ball somehow had made it all the way to the green and rolled right through it while the now angry foursome was putting.

I then received advice you can only receive on a golf course in Northeast Maryland. One of my playing partners surveyed the situation and told me I should apologize. Beyond common courtesy (because there was no intent to hit anyone), I was advised to make amends because: "People out here are tough. Remember, you're in Cecil County. This is Klan country."

Not your typical advice on a golf course.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Gas Prices

Nearly pumped my first $40 tank of gas today. The final price of $39.96 was nearly $11 more than what I paid to play 18 holes of golf this morning. I still recall pumping a $10 tank in 1998 at an Atlanta gas station where mid grade cost $0.83/gallon. As they say, those were the days.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Equipment

I finally broke down and bought a new camera. I purchased a Canon EOS Rebel SLR film camera a few years ago after a camping trip in Colorado when I realized that the point and shoot job I had couldn't adequately capture the scenes I thought I photographed. I still remember the pain as I flipped through my photos of elk, mountains, and various camping mishaps that did no justice at all to the reality.

Now I have taken the next step in the evolution. I bought a digital Rebel XT. Hopefully this purchase, some free time and a little practice will improve the quality of photos I present here.

But always keep in mind that I am by no means a professional and don't hold myself out to be (though you can purchase some of my photos...and I encourage you to do so!). I do this for fun. I put the amateur in amateur photography. Hope you like what you see anyway!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Early Exit

Good day to leave work a little early before the summer boil begins.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Put On Your Sunglasses

Went to the Wilmington Italian Festival this weekend at St, Anthony of Padua Church. And no, I can't explain what is happening in this photo. But one thing's's LOUD!

That's So Wilmington

Guess where I took this photo? Chicago? New York? DC?

Nope Wilmington, Delaware. This building used to serve as the city's court house. Several years ago the city opened a new court house with a suitably modern architectural style, but basically the glass and brick job that everyone is building these days. So, what to do with the old court house?

Wilmington, unlike Chicago, is a wasteland of boring architecture. I guess the city has decided on function over form. But this is why the status of the building in the photo to the left is so tragic. Yes, it looks like anything you might see in the Nation's Capital, or your run-of-the-mill old school court house. But besides the Hotel DuPont and that big green building down near the Brandywine, it's the only slightly interesting building in the city. It takes up an entire city block, right on the city's centerpiece park, Rodney Square. And it's vacant.

MBNA owned it until the recent merger with Bank of America. They have lately sold the building, but I don't know if there are any plans by the buyer to use it. It still sits idle.

In typical Wilmington fashion, something that could take a little of the "boring" out of downtown is going completely going to waste. Sigh.

Dust In The Wind

Courtesy of 1,000 pounds of good old American TNT, Iraq's top terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi is now dust. But did dust do him in? That's one of the rumors in this interesting article on a new tracking technology that may have been used to guide a couple bombs to Zarqawi's doorstep. Very cool.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I never fancied myself a green thumb, but somehow I have successfully grown a couple flowers from bulb to bloom. Not even an invasion of squirrels and little birds prevented these babies from making it. Whew!

In Repose

Sleepy time.

RSP - Update

On Friday, I posted about a ruling by a judge that parties in a dispute settle their differences by playing "Rock, Scissors, Paper." I concluded the post by asking:

I wonder if ESPN can get the rights to televise the June 30 contest?

Little did I know...

Last night while watching The Shining on A&E, I saw a commercial for the Rock, Scissors, Paper world championship to be televised on A&E! Are you serious? Yes...totally serious.

World Cup

Unlike most Americans, I enjoy watching soccer. But one thing drives me crazy about it. Whenever a player goes down on a foul and a teammate jogs over to check on the writhing player, I always wonder if he's asking, "Are you hurt for real this time?"

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Wisdom of Solomon

What do you do when a judge tells you to take the law into your own hands? Why, you settle your dispute with a little "Rock, Scissors, Paper," that's what. Ordereth one Judge Gregory Presnell:

Upon consideration of the Motion – the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts – it is ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED. Instead, the Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of “rock, paper, scissors.” The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006.

Many potential litigants could learn from the above. While probably not the best way to negotiate outcomes in general, when the parties are at an impasse, the above ruling could serve as a true precedent for settling hardened disputes. I can only imagine, however, how much money the parties in the above suit will pay researching player tendancies in RSP games. No doubt, some college has received grant money (ie, your tax dollars) to research such outcomes.

I wonder if ESPN can get the rights to televise the June 30 contest?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Baseball Tale

For anyone who likes a good baseball story, this article is for you. What if you were a prospect finally promoted to the big club but only saw one pitch your whole career...a pitch that hit you in the head and took away your ability to play? Sounds like a story that could only happen to a Chicago Cubs player. It is.

'Back then, I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day."

Thus spoke Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, or at least a whimsical version of him brought to life by Burt Lancaster in the 1989 baseball—some would say cornball—film "Field of Dreams."

"One day, you're on top of the world. Next day, you've got to pick yourself up."

So says Adam Greenberg, 25, a baseball player presently without a team, not yet sure if the one day he spent on a big-league field last year will turn out to be his only day.

Greenberg was diagnosed with a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo after being struck in the head by the first pitch he saw in his first game with the Cubs last summer. His dizzy spells proved to be temporary, but his baseball career took a turn for the worse that continues.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Countdown To Saturday

Perfect Monday to spend reviewing contracts behind a desk.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Excuse Me... milk?

Better Luck Next Time

Never did get in that round of golf this weekend.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Associate Humor

Came across this website yesterday. It's a humor site regarding life as an associate in a law firm. It's all funny, 'cause it's true!

I particularly identify with this post. I remember a couple falls ago working late on a document production project. After chowing down on free (billed to the client) pizza and soft drinks, we completed work for the night around 3am. I caught a cab home from One Bank One Plaza in downtown Chicago back to my Wrigleyville apartment, again on the client's dime. The early morning cab ride was probably fastest ever from the Loop to Wrigley Field. It seemed so glamorous at the time. But then I had to be back in the office at 8am the next morning to continue sorting the same documents... Don't be jealous.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Still Hate Him

Ever wonder what happened to Jeffrey Maier? You remember him. In the 1996 American League playoffs between the O's and the Yankees, he was the kid who interfered with a Derek Jeter fly ball which Tony Tarasco helpless watched become a homerun, despite his protests to the umpire who called it incorrectly. The homerun allowed the Yankees to beat the O's in the opening game of the series in New York, and is credited with laying the cornerstone of the Yankees to their late-90's, early 00's dynasty.

Here's the news: the O's might draft him in this year's draft. No joke.