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Winding down

The semester—and my whole law school experience—are coming to an end. Just two more finals, then it’s over. Last weekend DJ and I attended my final law review dinner. It was held in the dome of the Reata Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth. We had a great buffet of tamales, kabobs, grits (this is Texas after all), and even quail. For dessert we had a very unhealthy slice of Texas pecan pie. It was a fun evening. DJ got to meet the people that I talk about all the time, to put a face with a name.

This picture is with Josh and his wife; Josh was one of my junior staffers this year.

Deja Vu??? Return of the beaver

Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? If so, we have an insane beaver on the loose behind our house. He chopped down two trees and they both fell over the fence, out of his reach. So what does he do? He comes back and chops down the third. You would think at some point he would say, “hmmm, maybe chopping down trees that are surrounded on three sides by a fence is not a very productive use of my time.” But no. Apparently this beaver is not capable of abstract thought.

Anyway, this beaver is really starting to get on my nerves. When we found out that the downed trees were the result of a beaver and not a violent storm, Kim told me that we should get some wire mesh to put around the rest of the trees back there to protect them. I casually dismissed the idea with a half-hearted, “Ya, maybe.” Fast forward three days and look what happened.

The last (and biggest) of the three trees back there has fallen victim to the beaver. Kim was right and I was wrong. Where once there were three mighty trees to give us shade, now there are three chewed up stumps.

I’m not sure what the deal is with us and trees, but since we moved into the house we have lost two trees to bugs and three trees to a beaver. If I was one of the remaining trees in the yard I would be pretty nervous right about now.

Storm damage?

The last two weeks we have had some pretty violent thunderstorms in our area; they caused a lot of damage. Several houses in our neighborhood either lost shingles or had their fence or a tree blown down. We thought we were victims of the storm as well when we saw this in our back yard.

Trees on the fence

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What would you do?

Last week I attended an exoneree luncheon where a man named Charles was the guest speaker. Charles was released from the Texas state penitentiary about a month and a half ago. He was convicted of aggravated rape in 1981 and sentenced to 99 years in prison. During his 27-year incarceration, Charles maintained his innocence. He had an alibi for the night of the crime, but no one ever bothered to check it out—not even his attorney. The only condemning evidence was that the victim picked him out of a line-up—but only on the second attempt and after possible police coaching.

In 2001 Charles heard that DNA testing was available in Texas and wrote a letter to the governor to request testing in his case. Continue reading »