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From Out of the Ashes

Dear Readers,

Let me apologize for my absence on the front page.  Oh, you hadn't noticed?  Well, for what it's worth, I just ran the gauntlet of semester finals.  In the last 30 hours I tried a civil case, and sat for a 3 1/2 hour Wills, Trusts, & Estates exam.  The hardwood floor in my apartment is currently littered with highlighter caps, crumpled depositions, ties, cuff links, and textbooks -- stacked three feet high.

My reward for running with the bulls?  I'm now the proud owner of a 32 day vacation, courtesy of the semester system.

I know quite a few of you are waiting to get the final season results for the Obligatory Predictions Competition, and I'd planned full well to come back today after the exam and hammer them out.  But when I walked out of the Journal suite this afternoon for the last time this year, I was struck by the sudden impulse that this day would be best spent doing nothing at all.

I walked to my favorite sushi restaurant, pounded two plates of raw fish, drank four beers, and spent the remainder of the afternoon watching Mythbusters re-runs on my antique Flapper sofa.  Later, I pulled a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon off the bookshelf, lit a fat Camacho cigar, and breezed through 300 pages.

For my money, it doesn't get much better.

I'll have the competition scored and the final results up Saturday.  The Bowl Edition bracket will be up Monday.

Thanks to Graham, Bama, Jeremy, and the rest of the gang for picking up the slack.

And thanks to you all, for understanding.

P.S. The jury came back 5-3 in our favor.  It's been a hell of a ride.