Tag Archives: lawyers

TV Review – Better Call Saul (2015 – Present)

Drugs!  Crooked lawyers!  Cinnabon!

BQB here with a review of the Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul.

Once upon a time, Bob Odenkirk brought the comic relief to Breaking Bad as notorious ambulance chaser, Saul Goodman.  On that series, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) informs meth cook partner Walter White (Bryan Cranston) that they need a “criminal” lawyer, emphasis on the criminal – not just a lawyer who specializes in criminal law but one who engages in criminal activities to get his clients off.

And the rest is history.

Better Call Saul is a prequel of the life perpetually down on his luck attorney, Jimmy McGill, led, long before he took the name Saul Goodman or became Walter White’s lawyer.

You’ve probably seen shows that paint the law as a fantastic profession to be in.  TV lawyers are often portrayed as wealthy, fast talking beautiful people who drive fancy cars, eat at the best restaurants and make out with other beautiful people.

This show gives us a look at the grimier side of the legal profession.  Jimmy McGill practices out of a literal closet in a nail salon, drives a car with mismatched doors and barely makes ends meet.

He has a love/hate relationship with his brother Chuck (Michael McKeen), one of New Mexico’s most respected lawyers.  Chuck is a rabid electro-phone, meaning that he is convinced that anything that uses electricity is sending electric waves into his body that could kill him.

Michael McKean displays some of the best acting of his career as he sits in a dark house, eats food out of a cooler full of ice instead of a fridge, forces visitors to leave their cell phones in his mail box, and covers his home and his body with tin foil space blankets.

Meanwhile, there’s an on-again/off-again romance between Jimmy and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), an attorney that actually strives to do honest work.  Sometimes she serves as Jimmy’s conscience.  Other times, she gets dragged down into Jimmy’s world of crap.

Rounding out the cast is grizzly ex-cop Mike Ehrmantraut, the fan favorite of many a Breaking Bad viewer.  We find Mike in a lowly state at the beginning of the series, working as a parking lot booth operator who regularly feuds with Jimmy over his inability to remember to obtain the required parking validation stickers.

From there, the two start going down the rabbit hole of the Mexican drug cartel world, that same world that Walter White gives a big giant enema to in Breaking Bad.

To be clear, the show is nowhere near as good as Breaking Bad.  That’s not an insult to Better Call Saul but rather, a compliment to Breaking Bad, as that show captured lightning in a bottle and is a rare commodity.

However, just as its predecessor took an unlikely concept, i.e. a terminally ill chemistry teacher who stops giving a shit and rises through the drug underworld to become a kingpin, and spin it into gold, this show does the same with an unequally unlikely idea, namely, that the comic relief of the previous show should get a show that’s all about him.

The show has heart.  Jimmy has a dream to become a great, powerful lawyer, yet there are so many obstacles in the way.  Maybe you, the viewer, never tried to become a lawyer, but you probably had some dream.  Maybe you achieved it, maybe you didn’t but either way, most people can relate to obstacles getting in the way of their dreams.

The show features Vince Gilligan’s signature storytelling style.  It’s “show, don’t tell” to the max.  The viewer is presented with a lot of mysterious, ominous stuff.  None of it is clear at first but if you keep paying attention, the mental energy you expend will not be wasted.  Everything that happens in the show means something.  There’s very little filler or fluff that can be cast aside.

I admit when I heard this show was in the works, I had my doubts.  Breaking Bad could never be topped and perhaps if this show sucked, it would taint the legacy.  But somehow, the show, while not surpassing the first show, still holds its own and is a boon to fans who still want to see that Gilligan style on the screen again.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Who Wants to Explain Authors Guild vs. Google to Me?

Hey 3.5 Readers,

Just came across this article in PC World  about a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not hear an appeal regarding a case Author’s Guild brought against Google regarding their book scanning project.

Here’s more about that from the Author’s Guild website.

Anyone want to try to explain it to me?

Off the top of my head, the idea that a for profit company would be able to scan books not in the public domain and then make them publicly available seems troubling.  But I have no clue what is happening here other than it seems like something book nerds such as the 3.5 readers of this website would be interested.

So discuss away, book nerds, and tell me what the heck this is all about. Should I be mad as hell, mildly chagrined, or not give a crap?

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How the West Was Zombed – Part 3 – The Trial

A day of reckoning comes for the Buchanan Boys.  Judge Sampson comes to town and is hankering to pass out some hangings.

But “simple country lawyer” Henry Allan Blythe and his werewolf lackeys have other plans in mind.


Chapter 21         Chapter 22      Chapter 23

Chapter 24        Chapter 25      Chapter 26

Chapter 27        Chapter 28

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blond – Part 3


PART 1 – Detective Jake Hatcher arrives in his office to find a mysterious blonde dame…

PART 2 – …who seems to know an awful lot about our fearless  private eye.

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler's Legal Briefs (That's not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Legal Briefs
(That’s not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

“I’m here to offer you a very lucrative deal, Mr. Hatcher.”

How many times had I heard those famous last words uttered to me by a she-devil in a skirt?

“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re going to tell me that you want to hire me to take incriminating photos of your good for nothing husband in the throes of passion with his cheap floozy secretary. Only you’re going to shoot them both before I arrive and when the cops show up, they’ll mistake me for the trigger man. While I’m getting outfitted for a pair of striped pajamas, you’ll be on your way to Barbados with a pile of your dead hubby’s cash. Whaddaya say, sweetheart? Am I warm?”

“You’re ice cold,” the dame said with a chuckle. “My goodness, you certainly are distrustful of the fairer sex.”

“I trust no one, ma’am,” I said. “Dames have just given me more reason not to.”

My uninvited guest puffed away on her filtered cigarette and gave me the old once over with her eyes, looking at me in much the same way a lion must look at a fat gazelle with a gimpy leg.

“I hope one day you’ll learn to trust me, Mr. Hatcher.”

“Doubtful,” I said. “Especially when you’re probably going to try to bat your pretty little eyelashes at me out of a mistaken belief that you can make me fall in love with you and dupe me into killing your husband because you’re too chicken to do it yourself? Did I figure out your fiendish scheme yet?”

“Some detective you are!” the lady said as she snapped off her right glove and stretched out a finely manicured hand, complete with red nails polished so brightly I was able to see my mug staring back at me in them.

“You failed to deduce that there’s no ring on my finger!”

I stared at that dainty hand and silently kicked myself on the inside for letting a clue slip past me. Maybe it was late, maybe it was the extra doses of Jack Daniels, but that gal had gotten one over on yours truly, and I didn’t like it.

Not one bit.

“Even so,” I said. “It’s been my experience that a woman with a body like yours is always up to no good and this palooka didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, see? I think you made a mistake in coming here, sister. The all-day sucker store is two blocks down.”

“You’re really something else, aren’t you Mr. Hatcher?” the dame asked. “My employer warned me about you.”

“Your employer?”

“Yes,” the woman said as she handed me a business card. It read:

Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

In-House Counsel for Bookshelf Q. Battler

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Celebrity Retweet

Hello 3.5 Readers.

As you know, I am in quite a struggle against the Yeti, who for no practical rhyme or reason, refuses to leave Bookshelf Battle HQ until I receive 4000 twitter followers.

Now, I’m no name dropper and in fact, I pride myself on my humility.  I’ve got humility by the truckload.

Imagine my delight when I saw a tweet I wrote about Irish Author James Joyce on St. Patrick’s Day was favorited by a prominent Hollywood entertainment lawyer.

Further, when I tweeted that I was honored by my tweet being favorited by this tremendous legal scholar, said barrister further honored me by retweeting said tweet:

You don’t recognize prominent Entertainment Attorney Jeff Cohen?

Perhaps a photo from his younger days will refresh your memory:


Truffle Shuffle 4-Life!

Honestly, sometimes it’s the little things in life that get you through the day.  Chunk.  The guy who played Chunk favorited my tweet.  And the guy who played Chunk rose past childhood stardom to become a professional attorney.  Good for him.

My 3.5 readers know I am incredibly sarcastic.  Please know this post has no sarcasm whatsoever.  I remember watching Goonies when I was a kid, thinking it was a perfect blend of comedy and adventure. That someone who starred in that movie noticed something I wrote (and yeah, it was just a stupid little tweet and for all I know he hit the favorite button by accident) brought a smile to my face.

So, it is with full sincerity and without my usual brand of sarcasm that I say, “Thank you for making my day, Jeff Cohen.”

That’s all the superfluous name dropping I’ll do for today.  I won’t even mention that I am still followed by @TayeDiggs, probably because his assistant clicked my follow button by accident.

Checkmate, Yeti.  Checkmate.

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Ask the Alien – 3/15/15 – Why I Can’t Vaporize the Yeti, Vaccinations, Crooked Lawyers

Greetings Earth Losers.

The Esteemed Brainy One

Alien Jones here, beaming the answers to the great questions of the universe straight to your laptops, cell phones, iPads, Kindle Fires, Samsung Galaxies, and yes, even to you oddballs who still cling to your blackberries, desperately trying to party like it’s 2003.

First, let us address the proverbial elephant in the room.  Our esteemed Blogger-in-Chief, one Mr. Bookshelf Q. Battler, has been taken captive by the Siberian Yeti, after having his compound overtaken by the same aforementioned ne’er-do-well snow monster.

Truly, this is a sad state of affairs.  Already, I anticipate your first, second, and third questions:

Q.  Alien Jones, you are the most badass alien in the universe, a master of all manner of lethal technologies and advanced weaponry.  Surely, you can remove a Yeti from Bookshelf Battle HQ.

A.  Certainly I could.  However, have you ever heard of Star Trek’s “prime directive?”  In short, it is a rule that prevents Star Fleet officers from interfering with the advancement of alien civilizations, thus allowing beings to develop on their own.  My home world has a version of that rule.  It goes by the less interesting name of the “Don’t Help Aliens With Stuff Rule.”

Q.  Why are you referring to humans as aliens?  You’re the alien.

A.  To me, you’re the alien.

Q.  If you have a rule against helping alien civilizations, why are you writing a Q and A column on a book blog with 3.5 readers?

A.  My illustrious emperor felt that humans were so colossally stupid that there was some wiggle room.  Either I nudge humanity in the right direction or cheese stuffed crust pizza and reality television will spread across the universe.  We scientists refer to this much feared event as “The Great Dumbening.”

Now then.  I didn’t receive any questions this week, which is surprising.  Not to be rude or anything but to borrow a line from The Simpsons, “what you people don’t know could fill a warehouse.”  So, I’ve decided to ask myself a series of questions surrounding a topic that some of you Earth creatures have been wrestling with lately.

Q.  Alien Jones, should I have my kid vaccinated?

A.  If your Doctor advises it, then yes.

Q.  But vaccines cause autism!  I’ve heard so many anecdotes about kids getting vaccinated and then becoming autistic.

A.  Anecdotes aren’t science.  Your kid wears diapers.  Do diapers cause autism?  Your kid breathes air.  Does air cause autism?  Your kid watches Barney.  Do people in purple dinosaur costumes cause autism?

Q.  But we live in such healthy times compared to the days of long ago.  Surely, small pox or measles can’t be that big a deal.

A.  Picture me slapping my three fingered hand against my cranial dome in disgust, as I realize I know more about your world’s history than you do.  In the dark ages, long before vaccinations were invented, various plagues and diseases swept through one country after the remigho-syringenext.  Every village had a man who would push a cart through the streets just to collect all the corpses.  The reason why you don’t see people dropping like flies these days is due in large part to vaccines (the idea of which we aliens beamed into the minds of your most prominent doctors because it made us sad you were all croaking like frogs on a log).  Ultimately, it makes no sense to this alien why humans would put their children at risk for contracting a medieval disease that was put out of commission by medical science long ago.

Q.  But my doctor’s medical opinion might be that my kid should not be vaccinated.

A.  That is entirely possible.  There are some kids with medical issues where a vaccine could pose a problem.  But at least you based the decision not to vaccinate on a medical professional’s advice, and not a comment made by Jenny McCarthy on a day she decided to wear pants.

Q.  But you can’t prove that vaccines don’t cause autism.

A.  I can’t prove that you’re not wearing invisible underpants forged from solid gold.

Q.  And why should I take your word for this?

A.  You should absolutely not take my word about any of this.  In fact, if any crooked lawyers are reading this, be aware that I am a fictional alien that exists in the mind of a blogger, and therefore my word should not be relied upon as medical advice.  You should contact a doctor, who will be able to give you a medical opinion as it applies to your individual kid’s situation. Bookshelfbattle.com, its nerdy proprietor, and this Alien Correspondent do not in any way, shape, or form hold anything written on this site as medical advice that should be relied upon.

Q.  Why do you dislike lawyers?

A.  Because they are the same people who made a world where a car company that put out an obviously fictional advertisement in which a car is driven on top of a train felt it necessary to add a clause warning people against trying such an obviously ill-advised and impossible endeavor.

*Nissan Rogue “Commute” Commercial

No offense, but my esteemed emperor wrote humans off as a lost cause at the exact moment that he realized you are all so stupid that this commercial required a statement at the bottom of the screen that read “Fantasy, do not attempt.  Cars can’t jump on trains.”

I’m doing my best not to insult humanity but it’s just that, you know, on my world, we’re able to watch this commercial and already understand that we should not attempt to jump a car onto a train.

But I suppose companies must provide ample warnings to assist the simplest of a simple species.

One more question likely on your mind:

Q.  If this site is occupied by the Siberian Yeti, how are you posting on it?

A.  My species invented intergalactic space travel.  I’m pretty sure we can get a post onto a blog.


While I received no inquiries this week, shout outs to:

  • Anita Lovett of Anita Lovett and Associates for tweeting a request for the twitosphere to help Bookshelf Q. Battler raise the 4000 follower ransom required to remove bookshelfbattle.com from unjust Yeti occupation.  The rest of you were content to allow BQB to waste away as a Yeti hostage.  For shame.  For shame, I say.
  • Krissy Penner of cricketsareok.com for submitting video proof of alien existence (I could be wrong, but that guy on the left looks like a colleague I met as a cadet in the Intergalactic Exploration Corps).  Counterargument – this video may have nothing to do with aliens but rather, is a rap performance.
  • Bookshelf Battle Blog Followers, you might notice that BQB has been promoting some of you through other forms of social media.  He has been on a real “pay it forward cosmic karma” kick lately.  If you aren’t cool with it, just let him know, but I assume it’s his way of thanking those who aid in his quest to double his readership from 3.5 to a whopping 7 readers.

Thank you for your time, 3.5 readers.  I must now travel to the planet known as Moikro.  I am on a very sensitive diplomatic mission, namely, to convince two separate alien species to stop bogarting each other’s space snacks.  They’re about to go to war over who gets to keep the planet’s supply of buffalo wing chip dippers, and my friends, it will not be pretty if diplomacy fails to win the day.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Submit it to Bookshelf Q. Battler via a tweet to @bookshelfbattle, leave it in the comment section on this site, or drop it off on the Bookshelf Battle Google + page. If AJ likes your question, he might promote your book, blog, or other project while providing his answer.

Submit your questions by midnight Friday each week for a chance to be featured in his Sunday column. And if you don’t like his response, just let him know and he’ll file it into the recycling bin of his monolithic super computer.  No muss, no fuss, no problem.  

Alien Image Courtesy of “Marauder” on openclipart.org

Syringe Image Courtesy of “Remigho” on open clipart.org

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Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity Lawsuit

Here in our little community of bloggers, we all like to kick around the idea that one day we might write a book that gets turned into a movie and we’ll end up the toast of Hollywood!

Well, it sounds like it doesn’t always work out.

I just read this post by Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rissoli and Isles series, and she is apparently having quite a struggle vis a vis the movie Gravity and her book by the same name.

For what it’s worth, I wish her the best of luck and hope she prevails.

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