Patently Google

December 14, 2006

As of yesterday, Google offers the ability to search US patents ( It is text searchable back to at least 1836, and very fast! You can even view images of original patents online. Read the rest of this entry »

The Last Ten Years

December 14, 2006

Tanya S.’s post over at Millennial Star about returning home from her mission ten years ago has made me wax nostalgic about the last ten years. I thought it might be interesting to post squibs about approximately where I was at around this time each year for the last ten years. It might help my readers (the ones who don’t already know me well) to get to know me a bit better.

I would challenge others (especially in the Bloggernacle) to engage in a similar exercise, either on their own blogs (with a link back so I can find it) or in the comments section here- it is fun to think back about where I have been, and I would love to see where you have been. So permit me to now engage in a bit of “navel-gazing“… 🙂

My last ten years:

One year ago (2005):
Just finishing up working my first year at this law firm, getting ready to have our fourth child, and working a TON of hours (it was a very busy time at our firm last year for litigation- a lot of “irons in the fire” so to speak).

Two years ago (2004):
Studying like crazy for my last round of law school final exams at the University of Michigan Law School to graduate in December 2004 from law school. I think Church & State, Evidence, and Patent Law were up on the table then. I was also very busy finishing up some papers (in Complex Litigation and my awesome Bloodfeuds class), grading final exams from my German students (I taught undergraduate German at the University of Michigan), and preparing to move my family to Texas at the end of the year. It was a crazy time!

Three years ago (2003):
Studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan– I think Copyright and First Amendment law were the big substantive courses that semester- and teaching undergraduate German. Andrea and I were also getting ready to move to Texas in the Spring to do a summer clerkship at some law firms in Dallas, and one in Phoenix. This was also the year I started blogging on a (now defunct) blog called “Life According to Jordan”, the domain of which has now been taken over by some calling card scam. 😦

Four years ago (2002):
I was studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan- this time is was contracts, constitutional law, and criminal law that were up for testing (typical first year fair)- and teaching undergraduate German. Blah. It was a tough time- very busy. We were also getting ready for the birth of our third child.

Five years ago (2001):
I was still in my Ph.D. program in German and Linguistics at the University of Michigan and teaching undergraduate German courses. However, I had just taken the LSAT and was secretly applying to law schools around the country to get out of the Ph.D. program, facets of which I intensely disliked. I was so glad to be admitted to the University of Michigan Law School one month later, where my family and I could stay put in family housing and where I could keep teaching and have the German department pay my law school tuition (which they did!!) 🙂

Six years ago (2000):
I had just finished the first semester of my Ph.D. program in German and linguistics at the University of Michigan, as well as my first semester teaching undergraduate German there. What a ride that was! I was preparing papers for or studying for exams in Phonetics and Generative Syntax- basic graduate-level courses for the Linguistics aspect of my Ph.D. program. Andrea and I were also preparing for the birth of our second child.

Seven years ago (1999):
I had just completed the Michaelmas term of my Master’s program at the University of Oxford. Oxford has three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity, each term being 8 weeks and there being an 8 week “break” between each of the three. During the Michaelmas term, I had studied the History of the Yiddish Language and Classical Hebrew, as well as attending series of lectures on advanced literary analysis and the German poet Heinrich Heine (the latter being the subject of my Master’s thesis). Andrea and I were very, very poor but very much enjoyed living in England.

Eight years ago (1998):
I was still in my Junior/Senior year of undergraduate studies at BYU, and was gearing up for final exams. Andrea and I lived in Provo, Utah in BYU family housing, and had just had our first baby. I was also working full time as a Sales Associate at First Security Bank (for those who know it, the branch inside the Albertson’s Grocery Store on the corner of State Street and 16th North in Orem).

Nine years ago (1997):
Andrea and I had just moved out of our first apartment and were living with my parents in South Jordan, Utah for a month until I was slated to begin studies at BYU in January 1998. We were both working at different branches of First Security Bank in Salt Lake City. We had been married in May of this year in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah.

Ten years ago (1996):
I was living in Rexburg, Idaho, having just completed a two year mormon mission to Germany, trying to complete my associate’s degree at a private LDS (Mormon) College called Ricks College (Now BYU-Idaho). I was working as a math tutor, and desperately trying to convince Andrea that I was her man (a successful endeavor, in the end 😉 ).

So there is my long-winded recap of the last ten years. They have been good years, all in all. I can only hope that the next ten will be as good to me and see as much progress as the last ten years saw.

O Tannenbaum!

December 14, 2006

Every year in our family, about a month before Christmas, we set up a glorious Christmas tree in a prominent spot in our home. A Christmas tree can be a wonderful symbol. Among other things, when we use an evergreen, it represents to me the everlasting life brought to the world by Him, even the babe in the manger grown into a man, who said: “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26). Now, I wish to also reflect on some other thoughts that come to mind as I gaze upon the Christmas tree. I wish to reflect upon the “trees” of Christmas.

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