Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Out of Cambridge

I've returned from Cambridge and the Federalist Society convention. It was both more fun and more intellectually rigorous than I'd imagined, but also less opulent. I'd imagined there'd be a lot of sitting around in large leather chairs smoking cigars, drinking brandy and laughing malevolently. Instead it was a bunch of serious, engaging panels and debates on various issues - the conservative-libertarian split, civil liberties in the War on Terror, the Bybee/Yoo/Delahunty torture memos, preemptive war, and others. And then, as a keynote speech, an ebullient Judge David Sentelle regaled us with the story of his 1987 encounter with the Rainbow People, a several-thousand strong community of hippies who set up shop that summer in a North Carolina national park in violation of the state's mass gathering statute. (The story is recounted in Judge Dave and the Rainbow People. A copy is en route to the Fox's den as we speak.)

Of matters blogtastic and personal: I finally got to meet Amber Taylor and Waddling Thunder in person. They're both, as we used to say before we became a law student and they made us put away such things, "mad cool". I also ran into Cavaliere Cacciaguida, and my Old Jedi Master, who seems to be doing well. A good time was had by all.

Of matters meteorological: the oddest thing happened on the drive back last night. It was a clear (if cold) night, and an easy drive throughout the whole of Massachusetts, but almost immediately after we crossed the border into Connecticut, we were caught in an abrupt and driving snowstorm. Out of nowhere, there was an inch of accumulation on the road, and about fifteen foot visibility. Given the conditions and the fact that northern Connecticut highways are neither especially straight or well-lit, I was genuinely afraid for our safety. And then, after about twenty miles, we exited the storm as abruptly as we'd entered it. Not only was it not snowing anymore, but there was no accumulation on the ground, or any other sign that it had been snowing there (this was, I suspect, because it hadn't). I've never experienced a weather pattern that was such a weird combination of intense and localized.