Second Challenge to HB2: The Clinic’s Arguments Second Time Around


On January 7, 2014, the case called Whole Woman’s Health v Lakey was heard by a second three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court is located in New Orleans. Previously, a somewhat different three-judge panel heard the case and ruled for the State of Texas.

This is the second time the case was heard at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a previous blog, I transcribed the argument presented by Jonathan Mitchell, the attorney who was representing the State of Texas. In this blog, I will be transcribing the argument presented by Stephanie Toti, the attorney from the Center for Reproductive Rights who is representing the clinics in the case (Whole Woman’s Health and El Paso Reproductive Services).

Those of yo...

Read More

Flight Rising: Crystal Clear Achievement

Gnarly as baby

Flight Rising is a game where you take control of a Lair that is filled with dragons. One of the fun things you can do with your dragons is breed them. Personally, I always find it interesting to see what the baby dragons will look like.

There are several breeding Achievements that you can earn. I’ve made an effort to earn as many Achievements as I can (mostly because I think doing so is fun). The last breeding Achievement I needed to earn was the Crystal Clear Achievement. All of the artwork in this post is copyright of Flight Rising.

Each ...

Read More

#RGV4Choice: 42 Years of Roe V. Wade Rally

Whole Woman's Health logo

As you may know, the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade was January 22, 2015. On January 24, 2015, there was a “42 Years of Roe V. Wade Rally” held in front of the Whole Women’s Health clinic.  Why the 24th?  It was because the local Catholic parishes planned to hold an anti-choice march on that day and march right past the clinic.

The decision about where to march made by the anti-choice group wasn’t random. It was obviously meant as a threat.  The Whole Woman’s Health clinic is one of the clinics involved in the second challenge to HB2 case that was recently re-heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.  (The case is called Whole Woman’s Health vs Lakey.) If HB2 goes into affect, this clinic would have to close, leaving the women who live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas with no access to clinics that can provide safe, legal, abortion.

I learned about the “42 Years of Ro...

Read More

Waiting by Debra Ginsberg – book review

black and white photo of a waitress facing away from the camera and holding a tray of drinks

The full title of this book is: Waiting: the true confessions of a waitress.  It is the memoir of Debra Ginsberg as she looks back upon the years she spent working as a waitress.  If you are like me, and have never worked as a “server”, the book will give you an interesting glimpse into what that experience is really like.  She gives the reader an insider’s view of the job, of how various restaurants function (or dysfunction) and a lot of interesting social observations about both the waitresses and their customers.

Those of you who have worked as a waitress, waiter, or server, might find that some of her stories resemble something you have lived through.  Anyone who is interested in sociology will find the stories she shared about the people she worked with, or waited on, to be very insightful.

I purchased this ...

Read More

Diablo III: Season 1 – Paragon Leveling Achievements

Gurr Season 1 Paragon 50

Season 1 in Diablo III included several Achievements that were “Season Only”.  One group of them was the Paragon Leveling Achievements.  As you may have guessed from the name, these Achievements were earned when a player reached a certain Paragon Level on his or her Seasonal character.

One of the goals I set for myself during Season 1 was to hit Paragon 100 on my Seasonal character.  In part, this was because I wanted to get all the Seasonal Paragon Leveling Achievements.  The bigger reason, though, was because I had never before gotten a character from Level 1 to Level 70 and then gone on to get that same character to Paragon 100.

The Paragon...

Read More

Flight Rising: Another Dragon Featured!


If you visit the Flight Rising website, you will see a “Random Dragon” that is being featured. It changes frequently. I like that they do this. It’s fun to see what other player’s dragons look like. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything in their system that automatically notifies a player whose dragon had been featured.

That being said, there is a forum post that is trying to bridge that gap. It is under the “Dragon Share” section, and is titled Ping the Random Dragon’s Owner. To participate, you post the dragon that is currently featured and post the dragon owner’s name with an @ in front of it. The player will get a notification that someone mentioned them in a forum post.

This was how I learned that another one of my dragons got featured. This time it was Snicklefritz...

Read More

Hearthstone: Maraad Card Back

Maraad card back

The January 2015 Season in Hearthstone featured the Maraad card back. To get it, a player must get into Ranked Play and reach Rank 20 (or higher) before the season ends. (At the time I am writing this blog, there is about a week left to earn this card back.)

This card back appears to have been inspired by a World of Warcraft character named Vindicator Maraad. He carries a weapon that has a huge purple crystal in it. The crystal appears in the center of the Maraad card back.

In this blog, I will review what my experience was like as I tried to earn the January 2015 card back in Hearthstone. In short, I’m going to be taking a break from Ranked Play for a while.

The J...

Read More

42 Years After Roe v Wade – Still Fighting the Same Battle

One of 7 in 10

Forty-two years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States heard Roe v Wade. It was a landmark case that officially stated that women do have a right to access safe, legal abortion. The decision is to be made by the woman and her doctor – not the government of the State that she happens to live in. The State has no say until after the point of vialibily has been reached (which is after 23 weeks of gestation.)

One small (but important) portion of the ruling said: The state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excerpts from criminality only a lifesaving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Forty-two years later, we are still fighting this same battle.

People on Twitter used several different hashtags to discuss this fight (that should have ended with the Supreme Court’s ruling forty-two years ago). A few were #Roe42 #WeNeedRoe and #7in10forRoe. There was also an #ActForWomen Rally. In this blog, I have a collection of the most relevant tweets from those hashtags (in no particular order).

Read More

Second Challenge to HB2: Transcript of State of Texas Arguments Second Time Around

Sennheiser vocal microphone

On January 7, 2014, the case called Whole Woman’s Health v Lakey was heard by a second three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Court is located in New Orleans.  Previously, a somewhat different three-judge panel heard the case and ruled for the State of Texas.

The lawyer representing the clinics in the case filed an Application to Vacate Stay of Final Judgement Pending Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.  In short, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that the contested portions of HB2 were blocked.  This resulted in the case coming back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for a second hearing.

In this blog, I will provide a transcript of the portion of the hearing that includes the arguments by the attorney representing the State of Texas.  I will also add in my own notes (which will be clearly marked) in order to give more context or background to the situation.  The recording of the oral argument for this case can be legally downloaded from the website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


Read More

Diablo III: Season 1 – Feats of Strength Achievements

Season 1 Customized Banner

Season 1 in Diablo III is coming to an end “soon”. We know there will be a Season 2. However, it isn’t completely clear which Seasonal Achievements from the first Season will re-appear in upcoming Seasons.

This blog focuses on a section of Seasonal Achievements in the “Feats of Strength” category. They were really easy to obtain – just keep playing the game and you will earn them eventually. Each of these Achievements unlocked something special for player’s banners.  One unlocks a special transmog for helm and shoulders.

The screenshot below shows where you coul...

Read More