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.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bug Eat Bug


Monday, August 28, 2006

Shoo Fly

This is a guy you probably wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. Elkton, MD. August 12, 2006. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 26, 2006


A bee and a wasp race to find the good stuff. Elkton, MD. August 2006. Posted by Picasa


If you ever read the baseball book sensation Moneyball and wondered what happened to all of Billy Beane's much bally-hooed draft picks, Yahoo Sports has a follow up.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Deeper Pockets

Obviously this camper never went to law school:

"While finding a place to relieve himself, plaintiff walked off the unguarded and unprotected cliff falling approximately 20 to 30 feet to the creek bed below," reads the complaint. And so Jerry Mersereau is suing the United States of America, which maintains the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon where the mishap occurred.

The very first thing they teach you in torts is to sue up the chain, go for the deepest pockets. Who has bigger pockets than the U.S. Treasury you ask? Why, the Creator of the universe, of course! If this guy is going to sue the U.S. Government (good luck!) for merely failing to put in a guard rail, why shouldn't he sue God for defective design in strict liability? After all, the Bible clearly states that riches in heaven cannot be imagined on this earth.

As my wife stated, I have already blogged about the result of litigation like this here. Click on the October 2004 archive of my old website and scroll down to see a series of pictures highlighting the most absurdly overlawyered state park I have seen. If Mr. Mersereau gets his way, Mt. Hood National Forest could soon look the same.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bug Blogging

Blogger hasn't been too good lately about letting me post pictures, so I'm back to an old software product that only allows me to post one picture at a time. Unfortunately, I hoped to do some extensive bug blogging, but now you'll have to be content with a single picture cuz I'm tired and need some shut eye.

Playing Tag. Elkton, MD. August 12, 2006. Posted by Picasa

Get Bent

I live in the #6 "angriest city" in the U.S. I can't believe Wilmington even qualifies as a "city."

Sadly, I also lived four years recently in the 4th angriest city: Baltimore. Man, I need a break.

Worried About the Economy?

You know you're living in the richest country in the world when teenaged bears are eligible for dialysis treatment.

Headline from today's Delaware News Journal:

Ailing 15-year-old of Bear still missing
Girl, last seen Sunday, needs regular dialysis

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Moon Over Elkton

A spectacular moonrise over Elkton Saturday night. August 12, 2006.
Posted by Picasa

Israel/Hezbollah Ceasefire, In a Nutshell

Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewitt's site correctly posts:

1) What would happen if all the Arab nations and their terrorist proxies like Hezbollah set down their arms and gave up their ambitions to drive Israel into the sea?

There would be peace in the Middle East.

2) What would happen if Israel disbanded the IDF, junked its nuclear weapons and declared to its neighbors that she would do anything to live in peace?

Israel would be annihilated, millions of its citizens killed. The term genocide could be used to describe the ensuing holocaust, but since that term has been so hopelessly debased by American academics, a new term would have to be created like super-duper-mega genocide to really capture the nature of things.

9) Where is the Bush White House in all of this?

That’s the $64,000 question. There are two possible theories. One is that when Olmert lost the stomach to continue the fight, the Bush administration gave him diplomatic cover by pressing for a ceasefire. The other is that the ceasefire was the Bush administration’s brainstorm and Olmert simply couldn’t resist. I think the former is the more likely of the two. And I pray I’m right, for if it turns out that the Bush administration thought a ceasefire was the right play here, I’ll be rendered speechless. And nearly hopeless.

10) So where does this leave the Hezbollah-Israel struggle?

Lebanon officially becomes Hezbollah-land. Hezbollah will rightly be considered the victor for withstanding the IDF’s onslaught. And the battle will resume at a time and place of Hezbollah’s choosing.

Binge Drinking

If true, this is probably the worst case (pardon the pun) of binge drinking on a college campus I have every heard of. But a couple things about this story just don't make sense.

If you drink 30 to 40 beers a day:

1. How are you still living and breathing?

2. As a college student, how do you afford drinking at that rate? If you conservatively estimate that each beer cost $0.75, then, on beer alone, Mr. Boone was spending between $22.50 and $30 each day. If each semester is about four months long (120 days), that's between $2500 and $3600 each semester, $5000 - $7200 per school year! What college student has that kind of money? I can understand occasionally drinking 30-40 beers in a day...but each and every day? That doesn't sound physically or financially possible.

Familiarize Yourself

With college football's kickoff just around the corner, familiarize yourself with the new rules for 2006.

Some sample rules from my 2006 Attorney In The Del college football handbook:

Rule #1: Cheering for Maryland is mandatory. But don't get belligerent. If you get belligerent, stay home.

Rule #11: Cheering for Notre Dame is forbidden unless you (a) have actually graduated from the university with a four year degree, (b) attend Catholic Church every Sunday, (c) consider Guinness the only true beer, and (d) have at least 25% Irish blood pumping through your veins. An Irish surname may be substituted for letters c and d.

Rule #473. Steve Spurrier teams cannot be cheered for until he renounces his practice of giving Duke a vote in every year's preseason Coaches' Poll. Duke is absolutely pathetic year in and year out. The 'Ol [College] Ball Coach (sorry, his coaching skills in the pros mirror the Blue Devils' skills on the field) should be banned from participating in the poll.

Barons of the Alternative Fuel Industry

My wife's family owns a farm on which they grow corn and raise hogs. In light of the increased focus on ethanol and stories like this, one can dream of farming some day becoming the next boom industry.

If on my next visit to the farm, I find my father in law sitting in a top hat and monicle while puffing on a Cuban at the wheel of a Rolls Royce combine, I'll know that the promise of these alternative fuel sources has finally matured.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Something Random

Another week is over. Why not enjoy a random photo from the archives?

St. Anthony's Church. Wilmington, DE. June 11, 2006.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


That's the only way to describe this practice, and the people shallow and morally bankrupt enough to seek it.

The Alligator In My Apartment May Be The Least Of Your Worries

In law school I remember the rare case in the casebooks with a humorous fact situation that broke the monotony of the litany of dry legal decisions our professors forced us to analyze. Hopefully this warrantless search case somehow makes the cut for future law students. For a taste:

At midnight, NYPD Captain Michael Polito interviewed Yates's brother Aaron, who said that Yates had both a fully-grown tiger and a large alligator living inside his apartment. Aaron also said that on the night before, he had opened the door to his brother's apartment, thrown in several pieces of raw chicken and watched as the tiger came toward the food....


Annapolis Harbor, Annapolis, Maryland. July 30, 2006.

Parenting Tips For Catholics...

...from the Old Testament.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Whole Hog

Our son Jack weighed over 17 pounds at his three month check up. For those of you without babies, that's big. 95th percentile big. At three months, he wears 6+ month sized clothes. This heavy boy is a tough one to carry around. Dad's getting tired.

How did he get this way? Well, see for yourself.

Forget bacon, why not just take a bite out of the whole hog?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday Bug Blogging

Home for the weekend for once, I decided to take care of some long overdue yardwork. In the process of wacking some weeds, I disturbed the fellow on the left. He seems to be inquiring about his missing leg.

Hope I didn't "trim" him along with the weeds...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What's Missing?

I snapped the photo to the right on Sunday in Annapolis. This picture represents just a slice of the downtown area of Maryland's capital. Annapolis is only the second largest city in Maryland behind Baltimore, but boasts no big city buildings and is not nearly the center of the state's commerce.

If you click on the photo, you can enlarge it (and if you hold the cursor over the enlarged photo for a couple seconds until the little box appears in the lower right corner and then click that box, you can enlarge further).

Now look at the enlarged picture. There are a total of six small buildings in the picture. Let's do an exercise in comparisons: Wilmington, DE versus Annapolis, MD.

Wilmington is, of course, the biggest city in Delaware. It is the center of commerce in the state. It is the seat of wealth. It boasts many buildings over 12 stories in height. Surely we'll need to handicap this comparison to give little Annapolis a fighting chance.


I'll give it away: Annapolis beats Wilmington hands down in nearly every comparable category (probably with the sole exception that Wilmington boasts being the location of much of this country's corporate law).

Using the photo, let's look at what Annapolis has that Wilmington doesn't offer.

Starting from left to right:

1. A downtown hardware store. Not a big thing, but it would probably be useful. (Full disclosure: not in walking distance, but there is a Home Depot about a five minute drive from maybe this is a wash.)

2. Souvenier shops. Quite honestly, there is nothing that says "Wilmington, DE!" Except maybe DuPont teflon. Otherwise, I don't see what they could possibly market as a souvenier of Wilmington, DE. A crack pipe maybe?

3. A nice little antique shop. I'm not one for antiquing, but the only shops that I would identify with Wilmington are probably wig stores and nail salons. Maybe corner liquor stores, too.

4. Armadillos (a nice little restaurant with outdoor seating). It's not so much that Wilmington doesn't have any restaurants with outdoor seating...but off the top of my head, I can think of maybe three (Cavanaughs, Mezzanote, Costas). Off the top of my head, I could name more than that in the 2 1/2 block walk from Fleet Street to the scene of this photo. And where are the downtown Irish bars? With the exception of the Trolley Square area (a neighborhood on the other side of I-95), I don't think there are any located in Wilmington. How un-American (that's a joke, by the way).

5. An ice cream shop. We don't have ONE in downtown Wilmington. I was told there are SIX in downtown Annapolis. Lucky duckies!

6. Starbuck's. Say what you will about Starbuck's, but I continue to believe Starbuck's is an economic indicator. If you have one (or usually several), you're doing just fine. If you have none, like Wilmington, economically your town might was well be Beirut. They even have a "Starbucks" in Afghanistan for crying out loud!

7. Moes's (chain food joints). Wilmington has plenty of mom and pop eating establishments, but only one downtown chain eatery: Quizno's. Again, say what you will about chain food establishments, but they are chains because they make food people overwhelmingly enjoy. Just like Starbuck's, they also act as economic indicators. Moe's is a yuppie Southwestern-style food chain. You're most likely to find them in suburban strip malls. Annapolis is so yuppie, they have one downtown. Wilmington, by contrast, is so lame, we don't even have a McDonald's downtown! That's right, no McDonald's. I hear there is one not far from downtown, but it's in a neighborhood you are unlikely to want to find yourself. And it's definitely not like McDonald's can't be found downtown because we're just too good for it. Just take a walk down the main shopping drag, Market Street, and you'll see what I mean.

8. I'm cheating here, but just off the screen to right is a sushi restaurant, one of several in downtown Annapolis. There is a sushi joint in downtown Wilmington, but it is a place that calls edamame "pop beans." Does that really count?

9. Finally, I think it's unfair to compare the sailboats and pleasure craft in Annapolis harbor to what you'd find in Wilmington since Wilmington's showcase downtown park, Rodney Square, doubles as a public transportation depot and riff-raff magnet. I'll just note that the photo accompanying this post was taken on a Sunday and the downtown area is packed with weekend revellers. Contrast with Wilmington where downtown is generally a ghost town on weekends and any time after 6pm on a weekday. Sigh.

Just wanted to give a little flavor for what it's like here in Wilmington compared to one of my favorite towns in America. I just can't get over what a soulless place this city is. If only it had a fraction of the character of Annapolis, this might be an attractive place to live and work. In fact, if we could just replicate the six building stretch shown in the photo here in Wilmington, we'd be making some serious progress.