Archive for the 'News' Category

New Attorney Seeks Life After Law School

January 23, 2014

I got my results on Nov 1st, and I am happy to report that I passed the bar exam! I was licensed on Nov 1st, sworn in to the bar by a very kind local justice of the peace, Russ Casey, and have been working with my father in his law practice since then. You can see a picture or two of our office and the local courthouse on the firm website here.

Its been an exciting few months, even if we don’t consider the holidays, moving into an apartment, and family traveling as well. I’ve been 2nd chair on a few jury trials, accepted a court appointment, been reading lots of cases and statutes, and been giving people advice that they hopefully act upon for the betterment of their lives.

I’ll be honest (as I have to be according to the state rules/laws of being an attorney), it’s a lot of responsibility when people come to you looking for advice because people won’t pay attorney fees for unimportant matters. But! I wanted that responsibility because it meant I could do some of the good works God prepared for me to do, and that I would be well placed to see the results of that help in my client’s lives.

Its an exciting time. I feel blessed and thankful.


Nice Guy Finishes 2nd at Warhammer 40k Tournament at the Alamo GT

May 18, 2011

I’m back! A whole year of law school finished. Now I’m just waiting to find out if I did well or not, so I’ll update you when I find something out.

In celebration of the end of the first very long school year, my friends and I went down to San Antonio last weekend to attend the Alamo Grand Tournament for Warhammer 40,000. 40k, as the game is known to players, is the science fiction themed war game I’ve been building and painting in the monthly spare moment I have found in the past year. I’ve discovered that I enjoy the creative outlet of painting and constructing these small things and look forward to doing some more of it since my schedule should slow down a bit this summer. Until I leave for England to get married, I mean.

As if I needed more encouragement, at the Alamo 40k GT in San Antonio this weekend, I was awarded 2nd place Sportsmanship, or the Davy Crockett category. I didn’t win it due to my amazing generalship and impeccable win ratio (I went 1 win, 1 tie, and 3 losses), but because I was such a gracious player and was charming. Also, the incredibly bad luck for my dice might have had something to do with it, and I definitely wasn’t getting any painting points. I think my opponents felt sorry for me and rationalized it like this: “Good Game! Sportsmanship points for that depressingly bad luck you had there!” Or something to that effect. Oh well, I won $75!

I also hope to do some more blogging, but we’ll see how that goes. Progress has been made, however, since this post doubles all the posts I had since last year at about this time.

I have some pictures from the tournament and always some cute ones of Luke from recently. I’ll try and get those up in a timely fashion. If you look for thefathermapple on a couple of the big forums, or my favorite,, then you might see more of my painting process.

In the meantime, I’m going to go paint in preparation for a doubles 1 day event in Plano on the 28th, and hope to hear from any and all of you!

P.S. I’m trying to type more of this on my phone because that seems like a good idea. It means I’m into it more often and its more constructive than looking at things like… This.

Acceptance: Updated

April 20, 2010

I have a lot of news I’m going to spread over a few posts. I need to cover my new/old hobby of painting miniatures, my fantastical trip to England that I just returned from, and my acceptance into a law school.

First, the most immediate bit of news that most people will find quite important.

I got accepted to the 2010 Fall semester at Texas Wesleyan Law School. This is good news. I am still awaiting a decision from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

The GI Bill should cover all the costs of me attending law school at Wesleyan. It’s located in Fort Worth, which is not too far away. Commuting would be possible and traffic would be less than going to Dallas.

Regardless of which school I go to, I will be a law student next fall. No teaching, no paralegal work, and no Army. Also, no social life.

If you’d like to see me before the Fall, please let me know! It will be a productive kind of social isolation.

Edit: As of April 18, it’s final: I’m going to Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth!  Go Rams!

P.U. at B.U.

March 5, 2010

In a letter dated February 26th, 2010, which I received this week, Baylor Law School Admissions Committee regretfully informed me that, after careful review, my application for admission to the Fall 2010 quarter has been denied.


Actually, Double-Shucks. Five years ago, I could chalk some of the disappointment I felt upon receiving a denial letter from a law school to several factors. I hadn’t studied at all for the last possible LSAT date of the school season. I had applied during the “late” windows for most of the schools. I didn’t get to spend much time with the personal statements or essays. I was expecting my son to be born in a few weeks and was nervous.

I don’t have those excuses this time. I am consoled by the fact that my father wasn’t admitted to Baylor either. He didn’t need those Bears, and I don’t either!

Perhaps I shouldn’t say that, so other future schools don’t think I’m some kind of fair weather turncoat, spitting childish names at a university because they turned me down amongst their huge pool of other applicants who are just as qualified and successful as I am. I should, in theory, be wishing the other happy, accepted applicants well on their personal journeys and hope they are successful in their endeavors.

Except, of course, if they are facing me in some future court room. I’ll go to lunch with another attorney where we’ll talk and laugh over law school stories. I’ll find out my opposition graduated Baylor Law School in 2013. Casually, I’ll put my napkin on the table after finishing my food, say I’m going to the bathroom and would they wait one moment, and then walk out the doors to my car.

They’ll sue me or something.

The “or something” part is why I want to go to law school.

Two New Features: Fantasy and Reviews!

June 27, 2009

First of all, I will be posting even more Berlin photos. Having received 3 comments in emails and Facebook messages about my Berlin photos means I broke a personal record of feedback on anything. The previous record was 0. Technically, or mathematically, 3 is infinitely more feedback than 0, so I will post more. Thanks for the encouragement!

Second. I have been reading some websites and magazines about writing. In the past week, the Staff Judge Advocate I work for has given me an award and a farewell speech, and both times he mentioned I was a writer. Well, the last time I wrote a whole short story was almost four years ago, and the last time I wrote a complete poem, and not just a stanza or two, was three months ago. The advice I’ve received from the different sources can be summed up as thus: the more you write, the more you want to write. This is the definition of a catch-22 phrase (which is also a book I need to read, apparently) so I will try to write more on this blog in two ways.

A new feature for this blog will be reviews. From now on, regardless of whether I read a book, play a game, see a movie, or consume any other kind of media that I don’t create on my own, I will write a review of it here on this blog. Reviews are incredibly subjective, and except for facts like play control in a game, number of pages in a book, who acted in a movie, and what the track list on a CD is, there is no single objective criteria to base how relatively worthy a piece of media is. Everyone will have their own personal bias that either engenders them or precludes them from liking some aspect of a media based experience. If you follow me on this blog, I assume you know me well enough to understand what kind of tendencies I have when it comes to entertainment and education, so you should apply that filter to anything I write. You should probably already be doing this, in fact.

When you see a review for a video game, and you don’t play video games, it will be marked such so you don’t have to waste your time. The same goes with music, movies, books, TV shows, etc. I do not plan on replacing any of the websites like,,, or any of the other media review conglomerations, but if you save yourself $25 by not buying that hardcover book, movie, or video game I recommended against, then this site will be worth it. And, inversely, if you decide to try something you normally wouldn’t because I did recommend it, and enjoy it, then I letting me know that fact would make me more pleased that getting paid to do this ever would (depending on the amount).

The second feature, besides the occasional life updates and the aforementioned reviews I put up on this blog, will be my starting of another blog where I will write a book. The best, and most inspirational, idea I read was several authors who wrote a book through blog posts, committing themselves to a certain number of words per day or week. I think this will be the avenue to go. I will let you know what the blog is when I finish setting it up, but here is a short synopsis: the story will be about a group of adventurers living in a fantastical world out to save the world from an unknown threat that comes from the lands below the ground they walk on. Basically, I will be writing out one of my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns of old, and hoping to have more than 10 people read it when I’m finished. Another piece of advice I read was as follows, “Even if it’s bad, write continually. Eventually you will have enough material to choose a somewhat good story from amongst all the crap.” That one was not quite as inspirational, but it was truthful.

Bear with me if you’ll read this stuff, and wade through the crap if you can. Provide feedback, help me polish and give me ideas as long as you know you will only get a passing thanks in the dedication if this book ever gets published. It’s the thought that counts, right? So then that will be thanks enough, instead of us having to split the non-existent royalties check 100 different ways.

And, as always, let me know if you have any other ideas. Thanks.

Clearing Papers

June 20, 2009

Today I am proud to admit that I shammed a bit.  Of course, I only did so after I cleared it with my boss, but it felt good to not have to do everything the rest of the office is doing for a day.

I picked up my “clearing papers” yesterday, which means I am in the last 10 working days of my stay in the Army.  For the next two and a half weeks, I will be closing out old accounts at places, coming off duty rosters, wiping my name from systems, and handing out dozens of copies detailing that I am leaving the Army.

This might be exciting enough for just one post to my blog, but wait! There’s more!

Also, I posted most of the pictures I took from Berlin on my Flickr page, available here and over on the left side of my blog. Pay attention to the skies behind the buildings I was taking pictures of, they are simply amazing. I don’t know what I did to my camera, but it took some much better pictures than I am used to for the four days I was in Berlin. Perhaps Berlin knew I was coming, so they arranged for good meteorological conditions for me.

Possibly not. When I got there, I started taking pictures right out of the Hauptbahnhof, noting that there were dark skies coming. I started towards my hotel, about one and a half miles away, but got caught in the rain. I put on the hooded windbreaker I brought as the extent of my rain gear, and then ran all the way to the hotel. I was drenched, soaked, and sloshing when I turned the last corner to my hotel. Magically, the rain immediately stopped and I walked into the hotel looking like a drowned dufus. If I had just stood under an overhang for 15 minutes, the whole thing would have passed me by and I would have been much more dry.

It didn’t rain the rest of the time I was there, so if that’s what it took, then I’m ok with it. I dried off with the hair dryer attached to the wall in the room, and headed out to take some of those amazing pictures you’ll see in my Berlin album.

Terminal Leave Approved

June 5, 2009

This is not the plane back from Iraq, so I can discuss times that I will be travelling to come back to Texas.  If there is a terrorist out there dead set (suicide bomber pun?) on specifically coming after me, well, I feel more sorry for him having wasted all that effort since I am not that key of a player on the world stage… yet.  Perhaps this is like a Terminator thing, and Al-Qaeda is sending a bomber back in time to prevent my future self from bringing about world peace and an Utopian society.

I digress.  The important thing, today, is that July 7th, 2009 I will be taking my (hopefully) last government flight across the Atlantic ocean, and arrive in DFW International Airport to stay.  I won’t be visiting for just two weeks.  I will be staying to take up residence and work.

I know I sound excited, but the moment is somewhat bittersweet to me.  This means much more time spent with my son, which is, of course, the best thing; but I will be leaving a type of life where I excelled and agreed with me.  I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for familial concerns, I would have made a career out of the military, been successful, and, most importantly, enjoyed it.  Everyone is hesitant to leave a comfortable, rewarding life for the relatively unknown. 

Unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources to explore the vast realms of possibility, so I will take this good news and enjoy being able to stay in Texas for long enough to feel like a resident again.

Paris, redux

April 30, 2009

Last weekend was too much for me, as evidenced by my previous post. So tomorrow, I leave for a 3 day weekend in Paris. This time, I hope to get into the Louvre instead of just admiring the outside, possibly climb the Notre Damesince my legs won’t be randomly cramping, and maybe even take a picture with me in it. I think that’s the major hit list. Also: one of the palaces, Troucedeau, a cruise on the river Sienne.

True story: last time, my mother received recommendations from two different people to try the crepes to the left of the Notre Dame cathedral. It wasn’t hard finding the incredibly subjective “left”, but it was hard picking from the six crepe stands in a row. Perhaps I’ll find the one this time.

Expect more pictures next week, and then I’ll prepare you for my next trip.

Work, Work

April 21, 2009

I am back to work, officially. The optimist inside of me says that this is a good thing – it means the time to when I take another trip is coming closer. The cynic inside says it might be a while. I sure hope not, because Paris and England were fantastic, phenomenal; a lot more than alright.

If you haven’t started, I encourage you to look at the pictures on the left side of this page and follow the link to my Flickr Photostream where the 300+ pictures I’ve uploaded, so far, now live. I haveanother 100 to choose from that came from London, Cantebury, and other places in England. It takes forever to upload that many pictures, so I do a batch a day, or so. I have to go sort through some more, but I think there might be some Paris pictures left over too.

I really would like to tell you every story from my trip, but there’s too much to recount in one post. I took a travel journal, of sorts, to help me remember the sequence of events and to jog my memory of all the laughs and suprises that accompanied seeing the sights. Instead of a book (which may or may not be coming one day), please email me or send me a message on whatever program of your choice, and I will let you know about the sight you want to see. I love to talk about myself and my travels, so it will help if I can narrow down what story about myself I get to tell. Yay, for me!

May I make a suggestion? Don’t just look at the little pictures of the stained glass. Download the large file, even though each is about 2.5 MB large, and then really look close at them. They scale up very well, and I was able to catch a lot of the detail that just doesn’t show through in the small pictures. The Notre Dame stuff is amazing, and the Cantebury glass is coming today or tomorrow.

I love the idea of a single picture telling a story, and how medieval artists, working with limited materials, could provide a narrative in one piece. Sometimes, the subject of the story appears multiple times in the same picture to denote the different events. It’s a fascinating subject, and something worth study. I just need someone to pay for my Art History degree, is all… as well as food, shelter, health insurance, and keep my son busy.

Paris Marathon: Completed!

April 5, 2009

Picture this… about 37,000 people running in the streets of one of the oldest and greatest Western cities. Every 5km, people grab oranges, bananas, and water bottles, consume them, and toss them to the side of the road. Pictures me, slowly plugging along for a total of 42.2km, or 26.2 miles, up and down hills, through the streets, past monuments and museums, bands playing every 2km, 200,000 people cheering us along the course, and the perfect weather for a long run.

That was my day today. I ran the 2009 Paris Marathon, when I didn’t think I’d make it 15 miles due to some severe and long hiccups in my training schedule over a month ago. I never ran further than 15 miles, but finished 11.2 more today than I’d ever run beofore. It was glorious.

At 18 miles, I was on pace to finish at 4 hours and 25 minutes, but then the cramps started. We’re talking cramps that made prior “charlie horses” I’ve had feel like small annoyances. When I ran to the side to stop and massage the muscle, I could feel it spasming under the skin. But I walked through them and continued on. I ate even more bananas and oranges at the rest stops every 5km. They were gone by mile 22.

I had to walk up most of the hills after mile 18 (Paris is on a river, but it’s not flat) and I walked the rest stations with perhaps 100 meters on each side, but I ran 95% of it. I have finished something that less than 0.05% of people will ever do. My knees and legs don’t know it now, but I feel amazing.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

%d bloggers like this: