Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Melville on Property Law

Moby Dick, or, the Whale
by Herman Melville
Chapter 89 “Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish”

It frequently happens that when several ships are cruising in company, a whale may be struck by one vessel, then escape, and be finally killed and captured by another vessel; and herein are indirectly comprised many minor contingencies, all partaking of this one grand feature. For example,- after a weary and perilous chase and capture of a whale, the body may get loose from the ship by reason of a violent storm; and drifting far away to leeward, be retaken by a second whaler, who, in a calm, snugly tows it alongside, without risk of life or line. Thus the most vexatious and violent disputes would often arise between the fishermen, were there not some written or unwritten, universal, undisputed law applicable to all cases.

Perhaps the only formal whaling code authorized by legislative enactment, was that of Holland. It was decreed by the States-General in A.D. 1695. But though no other nation has ever had any written whaling law, yet the American fishermen have been their own legislators and lawyers in this matter. They have provided a system which for terse comprehensiveness surpasses Justinian's Pandects and the By-laws of the Chinese Society for the Suppression of Meddling with other People's Business. Yes; these laws might be engraven on a Queen Anne's forthing, or the barb of a harpoon, and worn round the neck, so small are they.

I. A Fast-Fish belongs to the party fast to it.
II. A Loose-Fish is fair game for anybody who can soonest catch it.

But what plays the mischief with this masterly code is the admirable brevity of it, which necessitates a vast volume of commentaries to expound it.
. . .

Some fifty years ago there was a curious case of whale-trover litigated in England, wherein the plaintiffs set forth that after a hard chase of a whale in the Northern seas; and when indeed they (the plaintiffs) had succeeded in harpooning the fish; they were at last, through peril of their lives, obliged to forsake not only their lines, but their boat itself. Ultimately the defendants (the crew of another ship) came up with the whale, struck, killed, seized, and finally appropriated it before the very eyes of the plaintiffs. And when those defendants were remonstrated with, their captain snapped his fingers in the plaintiffs' teeth, and assured them that by way of doxology to the deed he had done, he would now retain their line, harpoons, and boat, which had remained attached to the whale at the time of the seizure. Wherefore the plaintiffs now sued for the recovery of the value of their whale, line, harpoons, and boat.

Mr. Erskine was counsel for the defendants; Lord Ellenborough was the judge. In the course of the defence, the witty Erskine went on to illustrate his position, by alluding to a recent crim. con. case, wherein a gentleman, after in vain trying to bridle his wife's viciousness, had at last abandoned her upon the seas of life; but in the course of years, repenting of that step, he instituted an action to recover possession of her. Erskine was on the other side; and he then supported it by saying, that though the gentleman had originally harpooned the lady, and had once had her fast, and only by reason of the great stress of her plunging viciousness, had at last abandoned her; yet abandon her he did, so that she became a loose-fish; and therefore when a subsequent gentleman re-harpooned her, the lady then became that subsequent gentleman's property, along with whatever harpoon might have been found sticking in her.

Now in the present case Erskine contended that the examples of the whale and the lady were reciprocally illustrative to each other.

These pleadings, and the counter pleadings, being duly heard, the very learned Judge in set terms decided, to wit,—That as for the boat, he awarded it to the plaintiffs, because they had merely abandoned it to save their lives; but that with regard to the controverted whale, harpoons, and line, they belonged to the defendants; the whale, because it was a Loose-Fish at the time of the final capture; and the harpoons and line because when the fish made off with them, it (the fish) acquired a property in those articles; and hence anybody who afterwards took the fish had a right to them. Now the defendants afterwards took the fish; ergo, the aforesaid articles were theirs.

A common man looking at this decision of the very learned Judge, might possibly object to it. But ploughed up to the primary rock of the matter, the two great principles laid down in the twin whaling laws previously quoted, and applied and elucidated by Lord Ellenborough in the above cited case; these two laws touching Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish, I say, will on reflection, be found the fundamentals of all human jurisprudence; for notwithstanding its complicated tracery of sculpture, the Temple of the Law, like the Temple of the Philistines, has but two props to stand on.

Is it not a saying in every one's mouth, Possession is half of the law: that is, regardless of how the thing came into possession? But often possession is the whole of the law. What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but Fast-Fish, whereof possession is the whole of the law? What to the rapacious landlord is the widow's last mite but a Fast-Fish? What is yonder undetected villain's marble mansion with a doorplate for a waif; what is that but a Fast-Fish? What is the ruinous discount which Mordecai, the broker, gets from the poor Woebegone, the bankrupt, on a loan to keep Woebegone's family from starvation; what is that ruinous discount but a Fast-Fish? What is the Archbishop of Savesoul's income of £100,000 seized from the scant bread and cheese of hundreds of thousands of broken-backed laborers (all sure of heaven without any of Savesoul's help) what is that globular 100,000 but a Fast-Fish. What are the Duke of Dunder's hereditary towns and hamlets but Fast-Fish? What to that redoubted harpooneer, John Bull, is poor Ireland, but a Fast-Fish? What to that apostolic lancer, Brother Jonathan, is Texas but a Fast-Fish? And concerning all these, is not Possession the whole of the law?

But if the doctrine of Fast-Fish be pretty generally applicable, the kindred doctrine of Loose-Fish is still more widely so. That is internationally and universally applicable.

What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish, in which Columbus struck the Spanish standard by way of wailing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish.

What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish? What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish? And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The One Joy of Having 3-Month-Old Quadruplets

Okay. I've seen this video about a bazillion times and I still tear up from smiling so much (if that's even possible). Motherhood has changed me. I probably couldn't make a layup right now and I'd most likely cry about that too.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Personal Ad Found in Moscow Tribune

Single white aggresive,


And tempting female

Seeks handsome male.

Enjoys being snuggled in the cool weather

Only to have romantic evenings by the fire later.

Doesn't mind being strung along.

Also likes to have a little fun and commit an occasional misdemeanor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lamentation 1:1

I used to be so clever at writing, brimming with ideas. See, for example, blog post on this blog of Thursday, December 11, 2008. Hilary has told me that my blogging's dull; I just tell her, once again, "you're not the bossa me!" but I know she's right.

Law school has crushed clever writing and now all I can think about is jurisdiction, conjunctive or disjunctive elements in statutes and prima facie cases, and per stirpes with representation inheritance. Those are real things, not like "axio ab delicioso," which phrase I might try on a final now that I am a carefree 3rd year student.

If you knew what I was talking about then you might be a lawyer, and I feel sorry for you (not that you're a lawyer, but because you got weird birth marks on your face)

Which reminds me of my favorite poem I read in a coffee shop in Pocatello, back when I read chapbooks resting on cofee shop tables and not the MRPC.

When I see people with birth marks and funny moles
on their faces and stuff like that,
I laugh at them

And then they see
I don't got no teeth.

At least I'm not studying rocket science.

There's also a good blonde joke waiting to be inspired by this video.
I'm talkin to you, dad, lawyer who does have some cleverness left in him on at least 1/3 of his jokes. .333 is a great batting average.

Love Andy

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm voting for Keith Allred

I'm voting for Keith Allred, and I encourage you to do the same.
I met him while he was campaigning up here in Moscow, and he seems like a very nice, down to earth, and bright guy. He has a PhD in conflict resolution, he's a former bishop, he supports education and economic growth in Idaho, and he's tall and handsome (which I can totally relate to).

Hilary also is voting for him, of her own accord, even though she's usually a republican kind of girl.

Here's his website.

Any dentist friends and family of ours should check out the recent story about the surprise and harsh medicare cuts for dental coverage by Otter's administration.

Any teachers, prospective teachers, or college students should also compare Otter's education-cutting policy to Allred's support of education.

Feel free to post any disagreeing comments. It won't hurt my feelings.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Norah's Favorite Movie Star is Norah

A boring (but cute to us) video of Norah.

Norah watching said boring video.

Does this mean our 8 month is a narcissist?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not Necessarily the Top Three Reasons, but Three Resons Nonetheless of Why We Love Moscow

3. These guys playing on the sidewalk just down the street from the Farmers' Market in front of the tye-dye shop (yeah, a lot of tree-huggers live here).

2. Being surrounded by rolling wheat fields 50 miles in every direction (except in the direction of those mountains apparently).

1. And it's almost in northern Idaho--one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is it 1942 Germany?

For those of us who thought the Aryan Nation movement in northern Idaho died with the closure of their compound, we stand corrected. Small, innocent, one-horse-town St. Maries, Idaho isn't as innocent as it appears.

This is only one of dozens of Nazi knives sold at the family friendly Paul Bunyan Festival (it's a logging town).

And here's a picture of Norah and Andy just for kicks, not because they're Nazi sympathizers or anything.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Norah's Time-Out Chair

Our apologies to the wheat farmer whose field we slightly trampled.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Thought Pocatello was a Hick Town

Picture this. Me, standing over the stove, cooking eggs and hash browns, singing this song with all the inflection of my tone-deaf voice and throwing in an occasional hip swivel for added effect when Andy says, "What song are you singing?"

Either I really am the worst singer in the world or Andy needs to be introduced to a little country culture.

Answer? Most likely both, but he's probably never even heard of Garth Brooks either.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Wouldn't Understand

You know when you tell someone about something funny that happened to you and another friend they haven't ever met and it's not as funny to that someone as it was to you and your friend at the time that it happened?

Meet my family.

Probably not as funny to you as it is to us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Young Guns

Arms sure can say a lot about who wins triathlons.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Run for the Cure or Run from the Condition

I think I'm going to host a fun run to raise money to help find a cure for Norah's new condition. Not sure what the malady is called though. If I have a say in the matter, I think I'd name it Screaming Eaglitis or Baby Raptoritis. Andy's brother said it sounds like a Michael Jackson interpretation. Maybe I'll call it King of Popitits. And although I'd be raising money to help find a cure, most likely it would go toward increasing her wardrobe because I'm pretty sure I know the only cure for this condition--a larynxectomy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guess where we went

Hilary didn't want to blog because she is a bloggerfectionist. So I have to put hilarandious comments on our vacation photos so they ain't banal or bourgeois (spell checked) or don't cause the secretion of too many bormones.

I think the state of Idaho could make a lot of money by licensing it as Viagra falls.

Giddy up buckaroo

Norah could extinguish some forest fires with her faithful geyser of drool.

I would put more pics but blogspot takes too long to upload.

Norah: "Mom, He followed me home. Can I keep him?"
Hilary: "I already had a cow when I was a kid."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Hope Norah Got His Genes

Word from the wise, only play Andy in Scrabble if your pride needs some checking. Has anyone ever played a true scrabble (where one uses all 7 letters)? And who even knows what the word "novation" even means?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Being in your thirties is like being a tree that blossoms and bears fruit at the same time.
Except, instead of blossoms it's pimples.
And instead of fruit it's gray hairs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

31 Reasons Why I Love My Husband (Okay, Okay, I'll Narrow it Down)

10. He wears this green striped hooded sweatshirt that was cool for 16 year-old skaters to wear about 5 years ago and doesn't care that I think it's ugly.

9. He doesn't get mad at me when I spend $60 on a white noise machine for Norah even though we're flat broke.

8. He LOVES changing Norah's diaper.

7. He writes little love notes on Post-It notes and places them in conspicuous places. Like, one time I opened the fridge and read a note that said, "Me + You = Booya."

6. One time I got a note in the mail. It was a phone call message form taped to a 3X5 card. It read, "JT called. He said he wants his sexy back."

5. He actually wears the pajama bottoms I made for him for Valentine's Day last year.

4. He says words like hugsies and snugglesies.

3. He lets me cut his hair.

2. He spends a bazillion hours studying so he can kick booty in school and hopefully get a good job.

1. Then he comes home and takes care of Norah so I can have a break.

0. Then he wakes up early in the morning and does it all over again.

-1. He doesn't make me feel like an idiot when I misuse words like "literally."

-2. He gave me Norah.

And the number -3 reason why I love my husband . . .

He loves me, thinks I'm great, and literally worships the ground I walk on. I'm pretty dang lucky. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quantum Leap?

Our friend, Bruce, sent an email to Andy with the following two questions and photo.

First question: Where were you circa 1940?
Second question: Are you a time traveler?

Do you see him?

Andy has a fascination with iTouches. He wants one so bad. I now know why--his name is actually Sam and he leaped into the year 2010 married to me. Al is nowhere to be found and Sam is desperate to leap out of this nightmare and he figures that with an iTouch he can get in touch with Ziggy. Surely there's an app for that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Kid Can Beat Up Your Honor Student (Not That She Would)

So last week I was giving Norah tummy time which she absolutely hates and it only lasts about 45 seconds at a time because I'm a first-time mom and still hate to listen to her cry (or even whimper). When out of nowhere she rolled over! I couldn't believe my eyes. I was so happy for her. I kissed her, played with her, made her do it again, then immediately googled to see at what age most babies roll over. I was sure she was so early--I mean, she's only three months old. I was thinking to myself while I was searching, "My baby is so smart and strong and coordinated. Surely she's going to be an athlete of Olympic caliber someday."

Turns out three months is normal.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our life

Thanks for the book Abby!

Norah loves milk!

Norah and Andy take five on the set.

The pink ladies
Norah is a soprano, we have discovered.

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Offense, Lyric and Emily

Does a nickname just come naturally?

I mean, should it flow from the brain to the tongue and out the mouth like honey (I guess honey doesn't flow from the brain, but you feel me, right?) or should it be premeditated and require conscious repetition in order for the name to stick? Andy has been trying to think of the perfect nickname for Norah for the past . . . well, 10 1/2 weeks. And me? I've got a few honey-like names--Norah Jorah, No Jo, and, most often, Sweetie Sweetzers. Andy disapproves of the latter primarily because, "it sounds like something Lyric (my sister) would say." Not that he has a problem with that--it's just that he says we can't claim it as our own. Further, he swears never to call her by that name even though I think it flows and is appropriate. His attempts at a nickname, however, are Ladybug (which he's maybe called her once) and Cutie Buttons (which sounds like something our friends Bruce and Emily Hinchey would call each other as a joke).

If anyone besides the Hincheys has any nickname suggestions, feel free to throw 'em out there. Lyric once called Norah Peanut, but then found out that she's in the 95th percentile for height and weight. The name was quickly changed to Cashew, which still might not be accurate.

As for me, Sweetie Sweetzers has stuck. I say it all the time. And considering Andy is a dialogue sponge, I'm sure that name will flow off his tongue sooner or later. I mean, c'mon. Just look at her. Sweetie Sweetzers just fits. I'm sure you all agree.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weepy Pee Pee

Question. My eyes water when I use the bathroom. I've been like this my whole life and assumed everyone was the same. I just figured there was some connection between my tear ducts and my urethra. Don't ask me. Andy has always made fun of me for this which naturally led to the assumption that he was the only person without this special connection. I mean, even Norah's eyes get all red when she pees. After further research online, it appears Norah and I are different from the rest of the world.

On to my question. Does this happen to you or anyone you know?

(I just want to prove to my sweet hubby that my Weepy Pee Pee Syndrome is nothing to worry about and that there are millions of WPPS sufferers out there.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reading Material Should Not Be Upholstered

I am posting mostly because I am tired of looking at ye olde scooter at the top of bucketsamoonbeams.

Wanna know what else I'm tired of?

  • Paisleys,
  • fleur-de-lees,
  • doilies,
  • rosies,
  • posies,
  • frenchy patterns,
  • polka dots,
  • ruffles,
  • fancy stripes,
  • curls,
  • swirls,
  • twirls,
  • damasks, and
  • paramecia.
The nature of fashion-ish trends in T-shirts and blogs is that once everybody has them, they won't be cool anymore and'll go outta style. So I guess Hilary and I who don't got no trendy blog wallpaper--designed by some woman in Utah Valley who couldn't make it into the cutthroat scrapbook industry but had too much creativity and graphic design talent to not design blog backgrounds--are the only holdouts. So the twirly swirly blinding blogs will live on.

I'm alright with it if you call me a hater. It's not that I'm a minimalist. It's not that I'm Mr. spartan anti-aesthetics. It's that I'm anti-trendytacky and anti-headaches. Reading material should not be upholstered.

So if you always wondered why Hilary's blog is so ugly, it's because of Andy.

(To be honest, most of me (probably the retired amateur folklorist) loves the interior design touches that so many awesome women I know do to their awesome blogs that celebrate and share the joys of their life and family. I just wanted to see if I still had the skills to rant about something.)

I do predict that the damask and doily blog craze reaches its apex soon.

Love, Andy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If There's One Thing I've Learned in Life . . .

it is to never buy a Chinese scooter.

We've been trying to sell this for six months now and I've got one thing to say to the guy who just bought this from us three days ago.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do They Come Any Cuter Than This? Seriously.

Most pregnant women worry a lot. They worry about their body; they worry about their baby's' body. You know, everything from their baby missing an arm to missing a kidney. A baby in my church couldn't swallow well. Ever since I heard about that little girl, I started worrying about that too. However, one of my biggest fears before having Norah was whether or not she would be cute. Silly, I know, considering all the possible negative outcomes, but no one wants to be ugly, right? Everyone always told me, "Don't worry. Whether she's cute or not, to you she'll be the most beautiful baby in the world."

Am I blinded by love?

Friday, February 12, 2010

"When he (John Adams) is wounded, I bleed." --Abigail Adams

Now isn't that true love?

More examples of true love:

1. After bitching (is that a curse word when I use it in that context?) about her husband and how much they fight, a friend of a classmate of Andy's then flashed her heart-shaped tattoo on the back of her hand. "It's to remind me to be nice to my husband," she said. Fifty bucks says that relationship doesn't last another year.

2. Divorce court case: a man wants to divorce his wife because she didn't fulfill her side of the contract. What contract, you ask? Well, while strolling through a mall, they passed a jewelry store and saw a piece she wanted. "If you buy me that," she says, "I'll sex you up for a whole month." At the time he said, "Let's do this." Explaining all this to the judge, he then whines, "She still owe me 28 days!"

3. "If you can't handle my love, you shouldn't have married me. 'Cause I got infinity love to give." --Andy Jorgensen

Pictures of the Two Loves of My Life

Happy Valentine's Day!