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April 2006
Technically Speaking

Let's Take a PEEK at PEAC-WMD v.5

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Wonderful Wyoming

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After watching the movie Cinderella, five-year-old Sarah started using her pinwheel as a magic wand, pretending she was a fairy godmother. "Make three wishes," she told her mother, "and I'll grant them."

Her mom first asked for world peace. Sarah swung her wand and proclaimed the request fulfilled.

Next, her mother requested for a cure for all ill children. Again, with a sweep of the pinwheel, Sarah obliged.

The mother, with a glance down at her rather ample curves, made her third wish, "I wish to have a trim figure again."

The miniature fairy godmother started waving her wand madly. "I'll need more power for this!" she exclaimed.


As an alumnus of Yale Law School who spent less time practicing law than studying it, I take great pleasure in offering unrequested advice to people contemplating a career in law. Here are five myths about legal education and practice.

Myth #1: A legal education is a great means to embark on any of a variety of non-legal careers. Absolutely true. If studying law doesn't get you to embark on a non-legal career, then nothing will.

Myth #2: Legal thought is intellectually rigorous. Also true. Law students have been known to spend days debating whether an italicized comma differs in appearance from a normal comma, and which comma should be employed when citing sections of the United Hairstylists Personal Hygiene Code. As a lawyer might say, "that's not just rigor, that's rigor mortis." (i.e., "that's some deadly serious Latin rigor.")

Myth # 3: Life as a high-powered attorney at a big New York firm is exciting and glamorous. This is entirely true, if: 1) You laugh uncontrollably when your great uncle Larry does his impersonation of Dwight Eisenhower eating potato salad; 2) Your adrenalin flows when you spot a typographical error in the want ads of the Guilford Post-Gazette; or 3) Your bedroom wall features a large framed photograph of you shaking hands with Home Depot's Vice President in Charge of Shower Curtain Inventory because it's a moment you wish to cherish forever.

Myth #4: Most national leaders went to law school, so if you go to law school, you will probably become a national leader. If you subscribe to this myth, there are a few things you should know. First, you will bomb the LSAT so completely that your driver's license will be revoked. Second, there are other ways to become a national leader. You could make a billion dollars playing Internet poker, for example. Or you could get married to Renee Zellweger and three days later have the vows annulled. Or you could write a self-help book entitled "Reorganizing the FEMA Within." Remember that this is America and ergo ("ergo" is Latin for "out of the pale, pale blue") leadership is as close as the next episode of "The Apprentice."

Myth #5: Being a lawyer brings with it vast wealth. The accessibility of big money is undeniable. Let's say you are a first-year associate in New York. Your parents tell all their friends, who experience such acute boredom that they drift away from the conversation to watch their cuticles age. But that is beside the point. The point is that you make about $125K a year. You work the standard 120 hours a week (and bill clients for at least twice that), so your job is equivalent to three jobs of 40 hours a week that each pay you $41,667 per year. Given your high tax bracket and the vodka martinis you feel compelled to buy for friends who are "artists" living off trust funds they never mention, you probably come away dead even with someone working normal hours at $29,000 per year. Namely the guy who conducts Jell-O salad taste tests for a nursing-home chain.

Ah, you say, but here's the rub: Whereas the Jell-O taster may never make anything of himself, you will one day become partner. Yes, partner! When that big ship docks at your port, you will have permission to use the partner-only bathroom, first pick of the firm's Shea Stadium seats right behind the visitors' dugout, and oodles and oodles of cash. You will stuff your mattress so full with Krugerrands that you will sleep with your face squished against the ceiling. Even after making payment on your two alimonies, three mortgages, and endless pharmacy bills for anti-depressants, you will have enough left over each month to buy two decaf triple grande mocha eggnog lattes.

But the question is: Will you be happy? And the answer is simple: Not if they're decaf.


Philadelphia's Highway Patrol officers hear all kinds of creative excuses that drivers give for speeding. Here are some of the officers' favorites. By the way, none of them worked.

A man told the officer he was rushing to the hospital because he had been stung by a bee, and was allergic. "There's the bee right there," he said, pointing to his dashboard. The officer looked. The bee was not only dead, but in an advanced state of decomposition.

An officer stopped a man doing 80 mph. When he asked the driver whether he had seen the speed-limit signs, the man responded, "I went by them so fast I probably missed them."

A man going south on I-95 was stopped near Washington Avenue doing 79 mph. "My engine misses, and I'm trying to clean out the carburetor," he told the officer. For good measure, he added, "If I don't go this fast, my car won't go at all."

"I'm due in traffic court," one speeder said. "If I'm late they're going to enforce the bench warrant."

When an officer told a speeder that the speed limit on the Schuylkill Expressway was 50 mph, the driver responded, "Officer, where have you been? It's 65 now."
One speeder said simply, "I'm trying to beat my wife home. Don't ask."
An elderly person was stopped after doing 73 mph. When told he was getting a ticket, he asked the officer, "Is there a senior citizen's discount?"


Dogs teach us many things .....

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout ... run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.


Heard on a public transportation vehicle while in Orlando. "When you exit this vehicle, please be sure to lower your head and watch your step. If you fail to do so, please lower your voice and watch your language. Thank you."


One day at a trial, an eminent psychologist was called to testify. A severe, no-nonsense professional, she sat down in the witness chair, unaware that its rear legs were set precariously on the back of the raised platform.

"Will you state your name?" asked the district attorney. Tilting back in her chair she opened her mouth to answer, but instead catapulted head-over-heels backward and landed in a stack of exhibits and recording equipment.

Everyone watched in stunned silence as she extricated herself, rearranged her disheveled dress and hair and was reseated on the witness stand. The glare she directed at onlookers dared anyone to so much as smirk.

"Well, doctor," continued the district attorney without changing expression, "we could start with an easier question."


If it is all the same to you I won't be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.

When I got up this morning I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. I can't get off the john, but I feel good about it.

I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday (right up until the explosion). I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source exactly e*log(pi) clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late, or early.

My stigmata's acting up.

I can't come in to work today because I'll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK?

I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy, but I know we have that deadline to meet...

I am stuck in the blood pressure machine down at the Food Giant.

Yes, I seem to have contracted some attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Dodgers, huh? So, I won't be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I'll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling.

I just found out that I was switched at birth. Legally, I shouldn't come to work knowing my employee records may now contain false information.

The psychiatrist said it was an excellent session. He even gave me this jaw restraint so I won't bite things when I am startled.

The dog ate my car keys. We're going to hitchhike to the vet.

I prefer to remain an enigma.

My step-mother has come back as one of the Undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it.

I can't come to work today because the EPA has determined that my house is completely surrounded by wetlands and I have to arrange for helicopter transportation.

I am converting my calendar from Julian to Gregorian.

I am extremely sensitive to a rise in the interest rates.

I refuse to travel to my job until there is a commuter tax. I insist on paying my fair share.


A gentleman was having some physical problems and his doctor told him that he had to drink warm water one hour before breakfast. At the end of a week he returned and the doctor asked if he was feeling better. The man said that he actually felt worse.

"Did you drink warm water an hour before breakfast each day?"

"No," replied the man, "All I could do was about 15 minutes!"


A 6th grade teacher posed the following problem to one of her arithmetic classes: "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One-fifth is to go to his wife, one-fifth is to go to his son, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each get?"

After a very long silence in the classroom, one little boy raised his hand and with complete sincerity in his voice, answered, "A lawyer!"


A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.

Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.

Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous."

Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour.

To err is human, to forgive is not our policy.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he/she is supposed to be doing.

If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"

No matter how much you do, you never do enough.


Confidential Memos TV Executives Wish They Hadn't Written
Authentic messages compiled by Leonard B. Stern and Diane L. Robison

To L.S. Unfortunately, we are forced to put your program on hiatus. It has elements of quality for which we can't find an audience.

Is it possible to improve the caliber of writing without doing a disservice to the show's popularity and excellent demographics?

I think you're making a mistake having so many French involved in the production of Les Miserables.

Please consider changing Norton's occupation. You can't expect people to watch a sewer worker while they're having dinner.

TO: The Producers
FROM: V.P. Current Programming
RE: The Fred Astaire Special.

Too much dancing.

On page 39, we can hear, but do not see, pigeon droppings.

Please disregard the notes we were unable to send you.

To all concerned: From now on, eliminate Roman numerals on any cue cards. Undoubtedly, this is why the line was read "And now, a few nostalgic songs from World War Eleven.".

How committed are you to this Oscar Wilde fellow? If you want him to do the first draft, it's all right with me.

Regarding your inquiry as to my reaction to the script. I don't know. I'm the only one who has read it.

This draft doesn't work. Unfortunately, the script is strikingly similar to the material from which it was adapted.

Try to get writers who have never written before.

The license fee for the use of "Happy Birthday" is prohibitively expensive. Could Ralph celebrate Alice's birthday by singing "For He's A Jolly Good WOMAN"??

We must de-emphasize violence this season. Make the room red so the blood won't show.

Please clear the use of the name Princess Diana with her or her equivalent.

Do you have to show the dailies every day?

In the upcoming episode, please eliminate any unflattering reference to the Teamsters. We've yet to finish our negotiations with them.

To whom it may concern:

Contrary to the Producers Guild of America's position on gray listing, we do not practice age discrimination. Many of our writers are in their late thirties.


I've always ordered beverages one simple way, e.g. "A Coke, please."
Lately, though, this hasn't seemed to work. Waitresses now often respond, "I'm sorry, we don't have Coke. We have Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, Mr. Pibb, Fanta ,YooHoo and Red Bull."

Tired of listening to the long list of soft drinks, I thought I'd make life easier. So one day I simply asked the snack bar lad at a movie theatre for a "dark, cold, carbonated beverage."

The young man behind the counter chuckled and asked, "Yes sir, and would you like a long, thin, cylindrical plastic sucking device with that?"


Anyone who has ever dressed a child will love this one!

Did you hear about the Montana teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the 2nd boot was on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet.

He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.

No sooner they got the boots off and he said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear’em.” Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed’em in the toes of my boots.”

Her trial starts next week.


The little church in the suburbs suddenly stopped buying from its regular office supply dealer. So, the dealer telephoned Deacon Brown to ask why.

"I'll tell you why," said Deacon Brown. "Our church ordered some pencils from you to be used in the pews for visitors to register."

"Well," interrupted the dealer, "didn't you receive them yet?"

"Oh, we received them all right," replied Deacon Brown.

"However, you sent us some golf pencils...each stamped with the words, 'Play Golf Next Sunday'."


A man walked into the local Chamber of Commerce of a small town, obviously desperate. Seeing a man at the counter, the stranger asks, "Is there a criminal lawyer in town?"

To which the man behind the counter immediately quipped, "Yes, but we haven't been able to prove it yet!"


You've read the entire Dilbert page-a-day calendar for 2006 - and it's only the middle of March.

You discover that staring at your cubicle wall long enough produces images of Elvis. Or maybe Mister Rogers.

You've definitively figured out a way to get Gilligan OFF the island.

You decide to see how many Jolt Colas you can drink before the inevitable explosion occurs.

Co-workers come into your cubicle frequently ... to borrow pencils from your ceiling.

The 5th Division of Paper Clips has completely overrun the Pushpin Infantry, and General White-Out has called for reinforcements.


Have you noticed that Stairs are getting steeper. Groceries are heavier. And, everything is farther away. Yesterday I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street had become!

And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the young ones. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up they just keep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they're red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day and she has aged so much that she didn't even recognize me.

I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own refection.........Well, REALLY NOW- even mirrors are not made the way they used to be!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast these days! You're risking life and limb if you happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 10 or 12 dress as 18 or 20? Do they think no one notices that these things no longer fit around the waist, hips, thighs, and bosom?

The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank, but in reverse. Do they think I actually "believe" the number I see on that dial? HA! I would never let myself weigh that much! Just who do these people think they're fooling?

I'd like to call up someone in authority to report what's going on -- but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too: they've printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in here!

All I can do is pass along this warning: We are under attack! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon everyone will have to suffer these awful indignities


I was hanging out with a blonde friend of mine when we saw a woman walk by us with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip out every time she turned her head?" I had to explain to her that a person's nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned.


The CIA loses track of one of its operatives, and so calls in one of their top spy hunters.

The CIA boss says, "All I can tell you is that his name is Murphy and that he's somewhere in Ireland. If you think you've located him, tell him the code words, 'The weather forecast calls for mist in the morning.' If it's really him, he'll answer, 'Yes, and for mist at noon as well.'"

So the spy hunter goes to Ireland and stops in a bar in one of the small towns. He says to the bartender, "Maybe you can help me. I'm looking for a guy named Murphy."

The bartender replies, "You're going to have to be more specific because, around here, there are lots of guys named Murphy. There's Murphy the Baker, who runs the pastry shop on the next block. There's Murphy the Banker, who's president of our local savings bank. There's Murphy the Blacksmith, who works at the stables. And, as a matter of fact, my name is Murphy, too."

Hearing this, the spy hunter figures he might as well try the code words on bartender, so he says, "The weather forecast calls for mist in the morning."

The bartender replies, "Oh, you're looking for Murphy the Spy. He lives right down the street."


A minister tells of his first Sunday in a new parish and of presenting the children's message. It seems the sanctuary in the new church had some magnificent stained glass windows, so his message centered on how each of us is called to help make up the whole picture of life (the life of the community of the faithful). Like the pictures in the windows, it takes many little panels of glass to make the whole picture.

And then he said, "You see each one of you is a little pane." And then pointing to each child, "You're a little pane. And you're a little pane. And you're a little pane. And..."

It took a few moments before he realized why everyone was laughing so hard.


The teacher was giving her class of seven-year-olds a natural history lesson. "Worker ants," she told them, "can carry pieces of food five times their own weight. What do you conclude from that?"

One child was ready with the answer: "They don't have a union."


I was trying to get my seventh-grade history class to understand how the Indians must have felt when they first encountered the Spanish explorers. "How would you feel," I asked, "if someone showed up on your doorstep who looked very different, spoke a strange language and wore unusual clothes? Wouldn't you be a bit scared?"

"Nah," one boy answered, "I'd just figure it was my sister's date."

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