Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making Class Enjoyable

Given my somewhat abrupt switch from teaching to Law School, I would not be at all surprised if at some point in the future I end up as a teacher or a professor. Given full control of a classroom, I think there are some things I would do to make things interesting. We've all been in a class where people fall asleep, or don't even bother to show up. Aren't there things that professors could do to keep kids coming back? Glad you asked.

1. In my class, I will have a T-Shirt gun. The kind they have at stadiums. I will adjust the range to fit the size of my lecture hall. First day, 3 kids will get t-shirts. The front will say "I attended Professor Blau's lecture and all I got was this lousy T-shirt..." and on the back it will say "...AND KNOWLEDGE!" (Special thanks to my awesome legal research professor for that one.) I sit front row center, so the kid who sits there will definitely get one. He'll have to have good hands, cause I'll be using the T-shirt gun from short range.

As the class goes on and word gets around about my T-shirt gun, I will find different things to fire out. Miniature candy bars. If things get too out of hand, then it will be cheetos. Not bags of cheetos...unwrapped, orange powder covered cheetos. Will it be a mess? Yes. Will a few laptops get ruined? Sure. An unforgettable experience for all involved? Definitely.

On exam day, the gun will be used to distribute exams. The risk of paper cuts is slightly elevated, but I think it will be worth it.

2. I will open and close every class with a clip from "Scrubs" by the time I am a professor, I guess this will be one of those old shows that none of my students will have seen except for reruns. I will laugh hysterically, and they will laugh out of pity for me...

3. Hamster breaks. During the class, I will bring my 10 hamsters, put them each in a ball, and set them loose. If you get called on, and don't know the answer. Rather than try to BS something and waste every one's time, just take a "hamster break." This is where you don't answer the question. Instead, you just grab a ball, go outside, and play with the hamster for 5 minutes. Class continues without you.

4. I will distribute to students some "software" to install on their computers for use during class. This will be a cover up. What they are actually installing on their computers is a device that will beep obnoxiously loudly if they go on any social networking site. (Note: I would say facebook and the such, but who knows what we will have in the future?) The best part about this is that it will happen more than once. There will undoubtedly be other people who skipped the class that day. When they do show up, they are pretty likely to hit up one of these sites. Embarrassing for a few, but that's just part of the fun, right?

Just a couple ideas. I'll post more if any brilliant ones come to me. I think after a couple years, I might be able to convince someone that the "T" actually stands for "T-Shirt Gun..."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stupid Criminals

There are a lot of stupid criminal stories out there. You know, a guy robs a 7-11 and demands some cigarettes too, the clerk says he doesn't look 18 and asks for ID,the guy gives it to him, and then when he leaves, the clerk calls the cops and gives them the guys info. My personal favorite was the guy who tried to kill his girlfriend by putting her in the trunk of his car, parking it on some train tracks, and getting out and running away as the train approached. The train hit the car and sent it flying. The car landed on the guy as he was running away, killing him. The girl in the trunk survived.

The common theme here is always the "getting away with it." These people have a plan, and even if most of it gets carried out correctly, they can't get away with it. These two guys didn't even follow through all the way. Others go through with the act, but then are tracked down by the police when someone finds the body.

A lot of the time, this happens quicker than the culprit comprehended. Maybe it's because they are not creative. And so I present 3 ways to get a head start before someone finds the body.


1: If you lack a good place to put the body, just go to a college campus, put them in a swimsuit, and lay them out on the grass on the first really sunny day in the spring. People will just think they are sunbathing, and won't bother them until around 7 or 730. best case scenario, by the time the sun goes down, people will just think they are drunk and passed out.

2: Three words: Civil War Reenactment. It's amazing to me that more people don't actually get killed in these things. I guess people who do reenactments don't get involved in mafia wars or any situation where someone would want to get them. if you went after someone, and got them at the beginning of a reenactment, it would be hours before the thing ended and anyone would figure out what had happened. And eyewitnesses? "What was he wearing?" "uh...gray." Great, that narrows it down to half of the people here.

3: Paint them entirely silver, and put them on a street corner. People will think, "man that mime is lazy, but really good!" Note: as tempting as it may be to put out a hat or a guitar case, then return and collect any money people have given him, you should not. Do not do this. Never return to the scene of the crime.

For those who question my commitment to Blawegsome: If in the future, a body is found in one of these situations, and for any reason I am a suspect, this post will surely be damning evidence. Because I have no intentions of ever doing that, it's a risk I am willing to take.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You have the right to watch me pick up this spare!

Yes, it's time for another edition of "Whatever, I Do What I Want!" Today's WIDWIW award goes to the Polk County police department. On a recent drug bust, the investigation team busted into a drug dealer's house to make an arrest. Apparently they were overstaffed for the job, so while some of the officers made the arrest, searched the home (you know, official stuff) some of the others found a Wii. And started playing. That's right, within 20 minutes of entering the house, the force had a game of Wii Bowling going. While some were hauling out evidence, others were playing this guy's Wii! There was a security camera watching them the whole time.

Wow. I think on behalf of police officers everywhere who have fought for years to get past the fat-stupid-cop-stereotype I just want to say thanks, Polk County officers. Cause nothing screams professionalism and demands respect like playing video games. On the job. At a suspects house. And it's his Wii. Oh, and it wasn't just extra people filling time. According to an article, "A Polk County sheriff's detective cataloging evidence repeatedly put down her work and picked up a Wii remote to bowl. When she hit two strikes in a row, she raised her arms above her head, jumping and kicking." Really???

Best of all has got to be the quote from Auburndale Police Chief Nolan McLeod "Certainly this was a case of bad judgment." Yeah. I think that's putting it lightly.

Here's an article for more: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/21/undercover-drug-investigators-embarrass-polk-sheri/
Thanks to my friend Liesl for this gem.


In the world of sports, and the real world I suppose, you get fined for doing bad things. Saying bad things about refs, not reporting a players injury, throwing tantrums, you name it. But the fines across the world of sports are inconsistent. Allow me to use two recent events to demonstrate.

In a US Open semi-final match between Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams, Serena was down a set and serving at 5-6 in the second, 15-30. After being called for a second serve foot fault, her blood began to boil. After a calm 10 seconds or so, Mount Serena swiftly walked towards the line judge who made the called and began pointing and yelling. Loudly. With obscenities. The line judge ran to the chair umpire, and, Serena came over along with some officials. Serena was shocked to hear that the line judge thought Serena was going to kill her. I mean, all Serena said was that she would stuff a tennis ball down her f*****g throat. And she got kill from that? (Incidentally, if you WERE to survive treatment like that, I imagine you would have a terrible scratchy throat from all those little yellow fuzz pieces).

This blow up earned Serena a $10,000 fine. I have no idea who receives that money or what it goes towards.

Moving ahead, recently Floyd "Step your game up!" Mayweather fought Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez. The stipulated weight of each fighter was to be 144 pounds. The day before the fight, Pretty Boy Floyd tipped the scales at 146. He got fined $600,000. And that money went straight to Marquez.

And here's the problem. Is Serena going to miss that 10 grand a lot? Doubt it. Is any of that money going to that line judge for emotional scarring? Doubt it. I imagine it will go straight to some giant WTA slush fund and we'll never actually know what it gets used for. More importantly, will Serena restrain herself next blow up? maybe. if she does, it will only be done for public image. It's not about the money.

Personally, I like boxing system better. 600 grand!?!?! And it goes straight to the pockets of your opponent?!?! I'd bet a good chunk of change that Mayweather hits his weight right on the money next fight, or even a pound or 2 light. Now don't feel too bad for Floyd. He won the fight and walked away with about 10 million reasons to be ok with it all.

As for the lack of posting, moot court is controlling my life right now. Talk to him about it. Or see my last post. Much love.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I heart America

Most of the time, I am my own harshest critic. But when it comes to the frequency of my posts, that title has to go to you people. Yes, it is true that I don't post to blawegsome as often as I used to. And you guys (read Jill, Erin, and Carolyn) definitely do not let me forget it.

So why the drop in posting frequency? Perhaps I am busier these days. Perhaps notable funny things just aren't happening a lot. Maybe I've exhausted my material. Maybe you guys have just stopped doing awesome things to earn shout outs. (don't worry, that's not it. you guys rock.)

OR MAYBE there is some deeper purpose out there. I am a lot of things - short, sarcastic, obnoxious at times, humorous at others. I do triathlons and every 6 months or so I play 1 awesome game of basketball. I am a cheese connoisseur, and a cauliflower hater. But damn it I am an American. And in these troubled times, we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good. (the greater good).

My friend Carolyn put this together. It's kind of hard to see, but the blue line represents the frequency of my posts since February, and the purple line represents the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Notice the strong negative correlation between the frequency of my posts and the Dow Jones Industrial average. That's right. When I post less, the stock market goes up. I am not being lazy, I am doing my part to turn this recession around! So to all my recent haters, who are disappointed when they don't have a brand new post to read in class every day, let me ask you this: Why do you hate America? Or, to put it in angry-dad-on-a-road-trip terms, "Don't make me turn this stock market around! Cause I will!"

We all do our part. Sure, I could post more. But do you really want to see that purple line come back down? I didn't think so. USA! USA! USA!

*If you just started chanting USA in your head, you've earned 20 awesome points. If you did it out load, you got 200. Congrats.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Throwback Uniforms

Mondays are not usually high profile days in sports, especially in the fall. Usually it's all about reacting to all the stuff that happened on Sunday. Football, Golf, Tennis...they all have the majority of their action on Sunday. But yesterday was different. Not only was I treated to a five set thriller of a US Open final, featuring, as tennis seems to recently, more language not appropriate for the younger kids, but also 2 down-to-the-wire NFL finishes.

Now, it seems like every time I write about sports in the blog I get a lot of flack, primarily from my female readership. So I won't talk much about the games. Rather I want to focus on the lack of security. Somehow, during the games yesterday, a group of TGIFriday's waiters made their way onto the field. And I'm not talking ran on and got tackled. They actually stuck around for the entire game. Right on the field. They had whistles, and yellow flags too.

For those confused, I am referring to the NFL's "throwback uniforms" Look at these things!

Orange and white stripes?!??! I get the whole idea of throwback uniforms, but let's leave it to the players. NFL refs get a lot of crap. When it was looking like the chargers wouldn't make the playoffs last year, people were not blaming their poor play for the first 13 weeks of the season. They pinned it on Ed Hochuli for one botched call early in the season. Bottom line: NFL Refs need to be respected. You need to look like you can make a holding call, not read me the specials. So come on NFL, don't subject your refs to these uniforms. They've got enough to worry about without having to bring out separate checks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

National Holidays

It's been a while since my last post. I've been a little busy I guess.


Today is labor day. Growing up, labor day meant only one thing to me - the end of freedom. Fairfax county, like many schools around here, starts their school years the day after labor day. So it was one last day to sleep in, or to go outside before 4:00. And even though it was a day off, it was for all intents and purposes a bad day, because of what lay ahead.

For much of the adult working world, Labor Day is just the opposite - a welcome day off. It is the island between July 4th, should it land on a weekday, and Thanksgiving (or Columbus Day if you're lucky and get that off.)

And then there are those of us in the middle - in colleges or universities who do not close for Labor Day. For us, Labor Day is just another day. Or really, it is a day where we get to complain about how we don't get a holiday.

Holidays in the US are like famous paintings. Everyone knows a few (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Halloween) but after that not many people could tell you what the other ones are, what they mean, or why they even exist. What better example than labor day. You think the average American knows the significance of Labor Day? They might be able to tell you that labor means "uh...work or somethin..." but to John C. America, Labor Day is, as someone in my copyright class put it today, a good reason to not go to work and drink beer.

Now don't get me wrong, I would love to have a reason to not go to work/school and drink beer. There should be more of these. And so I suggest the following national holidays:

-August 14th: Take Your Work to Your Daughter Day. On this day, instead of bringing your daughter to work, you let them deal with your papers, calls, and anything like that, while you relax and play all day. Most affected by this day: large corporations, and that guy in your office who is the only one without kids, and shows up to work that day.

-February 29th: National No-Regrets Day. This is the day to do something crazy and stupid. The reason is that you will never have to look at a calendar, realize what day it is, and say "man, remember this day last year? I wrestled with a raccoon. That was dumb!" This is because the anniversary of that day won't come around for another 4 years, at which point (1) you will have almost forgotten, and (2) it will be National No-Regrets Day again!

-June 12th: National Double-Presents-to-Anyone-Whose-Birthday-is-Today Day. This one is pretty self explanatory. It is also my birthday. Enough said.

-November 16th: Robra Day. On this day people will cut down trees. It is the opposite of Arbor Day. Robra Day and Arbor day are not to be confused with May 19th: Harbor Day. On this day, people can either (a) go hang out and watch boats, or (b) house a fugitive. Their choice.

I have seen the future, and these will catch on. Time will tell.

Mad props to the Tribe football team for the big win last weekend. Go Tribe!