ANNOUNCEMENT: 2016 is now over, and thank God for that.
FURTHER ANNOUNCEMENT: 2017 will almost certainly be worse. (There will be someone very different to thank for that.)
The end of 2016 also means that my sabbatical from actual legal work is over, which is too bad, as I kind of enjoyed getting paid to do nothing. But I’m told that if I don’t start doing something again soon, the payment part of this arrangement will end, so, fine. Thanks to Shook, Hardy & Bacon for providing this rather awesome sabbatical program to begin with.
I wasn’t actually doing nothing during that time, of course, just nothing billable. First, I went to Los Angeles to see (among other things) the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at LACMA. Very enjoyable.
Then I went to Montana to walk around a battlefield, something I enjoy doing as long as the battle has been over for a significant period of time. This one ended in 1876. Usually there’s nothing funny to say about a battle, but since this one allegedly started with General Custer saying “Hurrah, boys, we’ve got them!” I think it’s an exception.
As you may recall, I spent most of October in the UK, although that really generated only one UK-related/travelogue-ish post. See “Normans Amend English Legal System” (Oct. 11, 2016). Visited, among other places: Hastings (battle), Dover, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bosworth Field (battle), Leicester, Hadrian’s Wall, York, Edinburgh, Bannockburn (battle), and the castle where they filmed Monty Python and the Holy Grail (arguably a very short battle there too). Oh, and London, but only to go to the British Library (nerd battle).
In mid-December I went to Denver, where I gave a legal-ethics presentation (funnier than it sounds, for what that’s worth), hung out with a friend, and had fun remembering what near-zero temperatures feel like. I give presentations on various things, remember, in case you want to hire or ask me to give one.
I also got pretty close to finishing a second book. This one is based on the summaries I do every year for the Almanac published by The Green Bag, based mainly on my posts here, but spans the life of the blog to date rather than the measly seven or eight years I’ve done the summary for the Bag. I’m thinking of calling it “Ten Years of Lowering the Bar,” although it’ll actually have 12 or 13 years’ worth of nonsense in it for probably no extra charge. You’re welcome. I might sell it as an e-book here, or “give it away” to people who sponsor the blog (if I start asking for sponsorships … which I might), or maybe even look for a publisher. Not sure yet.
On January 30 I’ll be speaking at Nerd Nite (East Bay) #49 (Nerd Nite is sort of like a junior TED Talk held at a bar) in Oakland. My topic is “So You’d Like to Buy an Asteroid: Property Law in Outer Space.” (This is now one of the “various things” on which I give presentations.) I will cover a couple of questions I’ve at least touched on before, like “can you own the Sun” and “is it legal to have a moon rock,” but will also be talking about asteroid mining and the Outer Space Treaty, things that I will also be an expert on by January 30. If you are in the Bay Area on the 30th and want to hear a moderately drunk guy talk about space law, and who wouldn’t, then come to this thing.
Have I never written here about the fact that I’ve actually represented someone who (allegedly) had a moon rock? I guess not. Well, I did that. (See “expert,” supra.) Details to come.