June 16, 2004

Off to France

I'm off to France tonight for a week. Julia is giving a paper and receiving a prize at the Business History Conference in Le Creusot. I'm tagging along as "spouse of academic" and hope to imbibe enough good wine to counteract the French Marxists that we've been warned to expect at the conference. (Brad A. and Mike F., I'll try to have a report for you on your "brethren" over there.)

After the conference, we're heading to Switzerland for a couple of days of relaxation on Lake Geneva.

Blogging will be light.

Posted by richard at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2004

New Icon

So, I just wanted to point out the new icon in the banner above. I think it has the right amount of gravitas for a blog of this stature.

It is the face of Leonardo da Vinci, which I drew with pencil and paper about 11 years ago. I recently scanned the image, shrank it to icon size and colored it to match the color sheme of the blog. If you haven't guessed, I'm quite proud of it. So enjoy.

Posted by richard at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Talk about Surprise

So, I jumped from InstaPundit to Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine to read about coverage of the Iranian elections by Iranian blogs, when I saw this post: Surprise.

Next thing you know, I'm reading about Mike Weiksner's talk today at the Information Law Institute. And I'm having dinner with Mike tonight. Weird huh?

Posted by richard at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2004

Comment Spam

So, today, I got hit with my first major comment spammer. Previously, I had had one other person who posted non-sensical comments and a link to a few articles, but this one was full-bore, automated postings to every single article. The text was exactly the same and was an advertisement for something or other.

Luckily, MovableType has IP address banning, so I was able to block them in the middle of their posting. But not before 120 comments had been posted. Had to write some SQL to delete them from the database and then rebuild the whole site.

Yeesh. I guess this is a coming-of-age ritual for Just-in-casionally. Hopefully it's not the start of an annoying trend.

Posted by richard at 12:11 AM | Comments (2)

January 06, 2004

Back to Work

Thanks to Phutatorius for reminding me that vacation is over and it's time to blog again.... I suppose that applies to my real job as well.

Posted by richard at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003

Iraqi Blogs

There are several great Iraqi blogs out there, blogging about what's happening on the ground there. In case you haven't seen them, you should check out Healing Iraq, The Mesopotamian, and Iraq the Model.

Healing Iraq has a post and some photos from todays anti-terrorism demonstrations, which drew around 10,000 people in Baghdad.

The Mesopotamian has a powerful post about what he calls "the Idea" and his hopes for the purity of our intent:

Having realized, at last, that islands of happiness and prosperity cannot exist unharmed in a sea of misery and depravation, the U.S. and her allies, have decided to eradicate the roots of evil. And the roots of evil are precisely this misery and squalor. It is not a war against a race or a religion; it is a war on backwardness and stagnation; a war to bring prosperity, freedom and progress, thereby freeing people from poverty, despotism and degeneration and hence ending hatred, hostility and alienation which are the true sources of danger and terrorism against the rich and prosperous. This is simple enough reasoning and derives its strength and force from its very simplicity. I said it before; it makes sense, great sense. If this was mere talk and wishfull thinking, many have said it, and thought it. But when it comes to actually taking action, making sacrifices, wading through murky waters, facing the monsters and vermin of the marshland waste deep in treacherous waters, it becomes a grand and historic enterprise, and deserves respect and admiration; as long as the intention remains pure. This kind of Conquest and Invasion is unstoppable; and we have historical precedence to support this conclusion; and from our own Islamic history too.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by richard at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2003

Letters from the Front

Check out this site for letters from our service men and women. Some are mundane, but many are touching and uplifting:

Front Line Voices

Posted by richard at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

Slow Days

Sorry about the slow days. I was away for the weekend, and I've been working on two big posts that aren't quite ready for publication, but have been taking up some of my time. Plus, the day job has made a few demands too....

Anyway, I'll try to get a few quickies done tonight. Hopefully the bigger posts will be ready soon.

Posted by richard at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2003

Happy Birthday, Valjean

Phutatorius is thirty and vowing to settle down (even if The Dengue doesn't force him to).

Posted by richard at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2003

Site Maintenance

Well, a couple of changes to point out, for those who care.

First, I added a books section over on the left-hand side and on their own page (yeah, the formatting needs some work). I'll try to add reviews and comments from time to time. If this ever catches on, I may join Amazon associates so I can make some money off any of you saps who click through and buy....

Second, I've added Overlawyered to the list of blogs on the side. Walter Olson, the main poster, wrote a book called The Rule of Lawyers: How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America's Rule of Law about (how did you guess?) the out-of-control legal system, lawyers, and frivolous suits.

Speaking of which, this story of class action suits run amok (over at Marginal Revolution) is pretty disturbing.

Posted by richard at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2003

This is why

I love the blogosphere. An impromptu debate by some really smart guys. You can learn something everyday.

Lawrence Solum has an amazing post on intellectual property (actually on property rights in general). This follows Eugene Volokh's sortie and follow up.

And to think, I played a small part in the first iteration of the debate. Nothing to add this time.... yet.

Posted by richard at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

Chestnut serving

Well, my good friend Phutatorius is still serving up his chestnuts. But, if I may be so bold to say it, I think he has things completely backwards:

I thought that my unemployment would be the font from which brilliant, imaginative, and insightful blogging would spring. Maybe Day Two will go better.

My experience has been that the blogging (reading or writing) that one does, rooted as it is in fine arts of procrastination, is directly proportional to the amount of other work you should be doing (and inversely proportional to the amount of time in which you have to do it). I believe this holds for quality as well as quantity.

I predict that as soon as you have some new task to avoid, once the novelty of your free time has worn off, your spumy font will flow again.

Posted by richard at 09:47 PM | Comments (1)

So the name?

Before moving on to things of substance, I'll try to justify the name of the blog.

Yes, I could have just stuck with my name -- and Vermillion does have such a nice ring to it.

Or I could have added my voice to the chorus of pundits, though in my mind IsntaPundit has already taken the cleverness prize, following in Glenn's footsteps.

Or I could have searched about for some suitable Latin phrase or pseudonym, but the blogosphere is suffering a domain-name-like shortage of Latin phrases, with Crescat Sententia, Arma Virumque, Tacitus, and..., and... Penuria Nomina taking the best.

So, I decided to go with a neologism, stolen unabashedly from the contractor who just finished working on my apartment. He was always doing things "just-in-casionally". I'm not 100% sure what he meant (or how to spell it), but in my mind it was always "just in case something goes wrong, and, honestly, it occasionally does."

I loved that honesty. Certainly more than I liked the things going wrong....

So, when you read the title, take the "if we need it" from the layman's just in case, the logical necessity of the philosopher's just in case, and mingle in a dash of temporality, recurrence, and frequency from plain old occasionally.

So now you know where it started, just-in-casionally it catches on.

Posted by richard at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

And now for something...

Well, it might be something. I'm certainly not going to argue that it will be something completely different. Much more likely to be more of the same, isn't it? We'll just have to see.

Before going on, I should add the standard disclaimers and caveats. Like most others, I shouldn't be doing this -- I have other, "more important" things to do. I have responsibilities, and spouting off is certainly not one of them.

I also have no idea if this will succeed. Not succeed in the sense of getting thousands of readers and international acclaim, but in the sense of actually getting past post #3 without petering out. Here's hoping this doesn't end up in the bottom shelf of my desk along with the first 3 pages of all the books I've fooled myself into thinking I'd write.

Plus, even if I do manage to post every once in a while, it is practically guaranteed to start several fights with my wife, who disagrees with me on most things I'll likely be posting on. Again, we'll have to see if we can all just get along.

But, despite those negatives, I agree with Dan Drezner that this blogosphere thing is as good a way to separate the good ideas from the bad as we can be expected to find in this day and age. So here comes another handful of chaff.... start sorting.

Posted by richard at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)