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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 21, 2006

kukai: peer-reviewed haiku contests

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:12 pm

The Shiki Monthly Kukai is a peer-reviewed haiku contest hosted on

the website.  Its roots go back to March 1996, when

the Shiki Internet Haiku Salon began holding periodic kukai (haiku

contests).  Kukai secretaries choose two topics each month for the

Shiki contest, and poets submit their haiku in one or both of the cate-

gories.  Poems must contain the assigned word(s) in each category. 

“An ‘anonymized’ list is then distributed to all participating poets and

they are invited to vote” for the best haiku in each category.


The Shiki website has archives of previous topics and submitted 

haiku.   This afternoon, as I often do, I looked through the most recent

Shiki kukai results and submissions.  The February topics were “early

thaw” and “sunlight.” 


boxerSignG Here are poems submitted by three of our Honored Guests

poets to this month’s Shiki kukai:


early thaw
she brings up the least
of my worries







the eggs
comes to a slow boil
dappled sunlight

Shiki Monthly Kukai (February 2006)





the toddler’s feet
find a patch of sunlight–
swept kitchen floor

DeVar Dahl 

Shiki Monthly Kukai (February 2006)






early thaw…
for a moment
mother remembers my name

Shiki Monthly Kukai (February 2006)



snowFlakeSN  In addition, the January 2006 Shiki kukai also

attracted participation from several f/k/a‘s Guests:




midwinter dusk

a fireman faces

the flames  



Shiki Monthly Kukai (January 2006)






a shut-off notice
flaps in the wind–




dark winter skies–
the bright “OPEN” sign
of a liquor store

Shiki Monthly Kukai (Jan. 2006)




prairie breeze–

the girl’s ponytail

as she rides a horse






midwinter thaw–

a groggy fly creeps

up the window


DeVar Dahl 
Shiki Monthly Kukai (February 2006)



tiny check The next time you’re tempted to wile away time on a computer

game at the office, I suggest you instead surf over to haikuworld’s

Shiki Kukai site, where you can compare and evaluate the submit-

ted haiku for yourself, or use the lists of prior topics to find collec-

tions of haiku on dozens of topics.  


Thanks and Congratulations to all those who have worked to make

the Shiki Kukai a reality over the past decade.



tiny check  From the New York Times, today, we learn that it took email   fail gray s

from their students for many college professors to discover

just how self-absorbed and self-entitled their classroom charges

really are.  Like, Duh!  (“To: Subject:

Why It’s All About Me,” FEb. 21, 2006)


tiny check I would have thought that hard-nosed public defenders, like David Feige 

and Skelly Wright would have thicker skins than they are showing in

response to “Lawyers Compete to Represent an Unprepossessing Client,”

a New York Times, dated Feb. 19, 2006.  Feige (with whom I usu-

ally agree) wants to vomit and calls the article an “obsenity,” while fret-

ting over condescension.   Surely, he can’t be surprised that an NYT

reporter (here, Anemona Hartocollis) is snotty.  The article focuses on

the fight, between the former assigned trial lawyer and Legal Aid, to

represent recently overturned-convict Andrew Goldstein in his new trial.

It suggests the lawyers are hoping to handle a historic case. (The Court

of Appeals said Goldstein was deprived of the right to confront witnesses

against him, when a psychologist for the prosecution quoted non-witnes-

ses who had negative things to say about the defendant.)




“Skelly Wright” at Arb & Cap notes that he doesn’t size up each client

as a potential “ticket into the history books.”  As I noted in a Comment

at his weblog, the NYT article wasn’t talking about the run-of-the -mill client. 

And, Legal Aid and Assigned Counsel don’t normally fight very hard over such

regular clientele.  This story is about an infamous defendant in a case that

raises important evidentiary issues.  The legal history books just might be

on the mind of lawyers who most often do toil hard in anonymity and are under-

appreciated by their clients, the public and even their profession. 


It certainly is not shocking for a reporter to imagine that criminal defense

lawyers might go out of their way to get a high-profile case.   Reporters —

and  the vast majority of working stiff professionals with moxie — do the very

same thing.




tiny check We reported last September that Jeeves of AskJeeves fame was

going to be retired (and we fretted that the Vatican might not let him

become a priest, as a late-life career).  It finally looks like Jeeves is as

good as out to pasture.  (“Jeeves Retires,” SearchEngineWatch, Feb.

20, 2006; via TVCAlert, Feb. 21, 2006)  You can leave Jeeves career or

leisure-time suggestions, at his Retirement Office.   What I find quite

strange is that the search engine is going from being called “Ask Jeeves,”

to being “Ask.”   When Dear Abby was replaced, was her column re-

named “Dear“?   Barry Diller and IAC just better not try to get a service-

mark on the word “ask.”   “Ask Diller” has a nice ring to it, though.




The Billable Hour Resources Page

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:38 am

Legal outsourcing advocate Lisa Solomon has put together an excel- 

lent Billable Hour Resources Page, on the website of her retail firm,

The Billable Hour™ Co (which offers “clever timepieces for lawyers”).

The web page aptly sums up its content:



“A compilation of links to books; studies and reports; newspaper

and magazine articles; and blog entries discussing the billable

hour and related subjects such as client service and value billing.”                                                                                

An upcoming press release, notes that Lisa, “a practicing lawyer and

partner in The Billable Hour™  Company, vetted all of the listed items for

relevance before adding them to the collection.   Her spouse and  time-

piece partner, Mark Solomon explains:

“While the utility and proper role of the ‘billable hour’ is hotly

debated in the legal community, until now there hasn’t been a

single comprehensive source for links to writings on the subject.”

Although their timepieces bring a bit of humor to the subject of billable 

hours, the Solomons want “to encourage serious consideration of the issues

involved in the billable hour/value billing discussion.”  As the debate unfolds,

the Resources Page will be regularly updated; it has an RSS feed.




This list is far more comprehensive than others I have seen.  Of equal im-

portance for those interesting in seriously considering the ethical and

practical issues raised, the Billable Hours Resources Page — unlike others

— includes materials that are skeptical of both the blanket condemnation of

hourly billing and the unquestioning acceptance of the value billing mantra

tiny check Much of the skeptic materials appeared first at this

website and voice the Editor’s belief that “value billing” may

result in neither lower overall fees for clients nor more leisure

time for associates. See, e.g., chronomentrophobia (hourly

billing is not the problem) and value billing or venal bilking?.

So, the f/k/a gang suggests you bookmark the page and grab its RSS

feed — or even re-syndicate it (instructions are at the foot of the page).  

Thanks to Lisa and Mark Solomon for assembling this tool, and — “ad-

vanced praise” — for keeping it updated.


                                                                                    Billable Hour desk clock BillableDeskClock


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