TDot’s Mailbag v3.0

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 4, 2009 in Mail

I check the server logs here at law:/dev/null at least twice a day, primarily to keep a check on the source IPs and the search queries that lead folks here — most of them are innocuous enough,1) but if I notice an otherwise-arbitrary uptick in visits from the law school’s network I try to preemptively think of responses to anything a professor or classmate might inquire about.

And in going through the end-of-month log for September, I noticed I’ve totally been neglecting email :surprised: My apologies, dear readers! (all dozen of you :* )

For those of you who are new visitors to my little snippet of virtual real estate on teh intarwebs, every now and then I take the questions I’ve gotten via email / Facebook message / text / etc and throw them into a blog entry — usually when I’m either lacking 1) time or 2) content to write something better ;) I’m making an exception today because a couple of these questions are a bit old :beatup:


Q: Mike, another 1L blawger who’s written in previously, sent in a non-question that needs “answering”:

You don’t have your email address posted anywhere on your blog. May want to fix that if you expect folks to write in ;)

A: Touché. When law:/dev/null got started it was basically just for close friends and family who already had my contact info on Facebook — I never expected people from other cities / states / countries to become regular readers! (P.S. thank you said unexpected readers :spin: )

If any of you want to send me an email, just take my name on this blog (TDot), throw in the @ symbol, and tack on the URL of the blog sans the ‘www’. Or just Facebook me :)


Q: Rebecca recently found us through a Facebook post and asks:

Do you really send/receive thousands of text messages in a month??

A: Yep. It all started when I got elected Student Senate President at N.C. State back in April 2007.  I used to have a 12-button Motorola E815 — which had an über-hackable OS that I didn’t want to give up — and a “500 messages per month” data plan.  By the time school started in August, I had sent/received 854 messages… which led to a $35 overage charge on my phone bill.

Somehow the next month that had climbed to 1,959 messages, which prompted a visit to my local Verizon Wireless store and an almost-free upgrade to a BlackBerry 8830 with unlimited text messaging — a much better deal than the ~$150 overage I would have had to pay otherwise.

Then things just went crazy from there.

TDot's text messages over time

TDot's text messages over time. Each vertical hash is 1100 texts.

The following March I was reelected to a 2nd term as Student Senate President and a few weeks after that elected President of the statewide UNC Association of Student Governments, becoming the 1st person (so far as we know) to hold both the ASG Presidency and a major institutional office at the same time — and bringing a corresponding text message frequency with it.  I peaked at 10,821 messages in January, and have settled around the 7K mark for the past few months.

Back when I first switched to the BlackBerry, one of my Computer Science professors asked me to put a graph together showing my text message usage over time.  I’ve been keeping it up just for the giggles and post it here for you amusement :)


Q: Gwen asks about the HBCU experience:

How are you adjusting to a historically black university like N.C. Central coming from a predominantly white school like N.C. State? Has it been difficult?

A: It hasn’t taken much adjustment at all, at least for me. The black community at N.C. State was one of the three core groups who put me into office along with CALS students and teh Netr00tz, if that offers any insight to my background.

The only significant change between N.C. State University and the N.C. Central University School of Law has been the technology.

The Computer Science Department at NC State is very *nix-heavy, so technology is platform-neutral and Linux + Mac users fit right in. By contrast NCCU Law, like most law schools, is a mostly-Microsoft shop. The tech support folks aren’t well-versed at all in anything beyond Windows, so I’ve played the role of “hey you, computer guy” on more than a few occasions.

And the wifi reception is spotty in the areas most conducive to studying. It drives me bonkers… :mad:

Other than those few technology annoyances, I have no complaints :)


Q: Rebecca, in response to my recent commentary on TRPLS, is apparently crushed by my own political leanings:

omg please don’t tell me you’re one of the *them*. seriously? like, *seriously?*

A: Seriously :) I’ve been a conservative since high school and a registered Republican since I was eligible to vote.

My political views aren’t exactly orthodox though.

As an example, I believe in limited government, supply-side economics, firearms, a strong military and an interventionist foreign policy; my time being homeless left me with little sympathy for the poor; and I think most strident liberals are ideologically incoherent and hate America.

But I also have no problems with premarital sex, weed, illegal immigrants, or non-Christians; I’ve dated more black women than white ones; I have more close friends who are gay than are straight; and I recycle ;)

The net result is a guy who got himself elected as the youngest Vice Chairman in Wake County GOP history some years ago, got thrown out of the party entirely just 2 years later for being “too liberal”, then spent most of the years since working with politicians from both parties.

No need to worry though: the odds of someone like me getting elected to anything outside of college are pretty slim, and my political views won’t affect the quality of my legal representation if you ever need a lawyer ;)

And one final note on the impeccable timing of this question — check out today’s first entry on PostSecret :D


That’s all I’ve got for this entry folks — have a great night! :D

  1. From yesterday: “what is the plain meaning rule? do you think that people would actually fight over the plain meaning of a statute?” If your client is paying you, yes ; []

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