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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Donald's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 29th, 2011
2:40 am
Countdown to our wedding
This page will give you updated times.

Roughly 3.8 million seconds as I write this.
Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
10:25 pm
Does anybody have any advice on wedding gift registries?

Heidi and I both already have condos full of stuff, and it's hard to think about what more stuff to list.
Friday, August 20th, 2010
12:43 pm
Favorite sensory inputs
Here are my favorite inputs for each sense - I'd love to know yours as well. Of course, that assumes that anybody still reads my livejournal.

Taste - Gino's East deep dish pizza with sausage. Straight out of the fridge the second day.

Smell - Dodger Stadium when it opens. Freshly mowed grass and steaming Dodger Dogs without the smell of spilled beer.

Sound - The Michigan hockey pep band playing an A flat major chord to start the Victors trio as the crowd eruption after a goal starts to dissipate.

Touch - The feel of almost nothingness when you hit a baseball right on the sweet spot of a wooden bat.

Sight - Seeing anybody I love smile.
Sunday, April 4th, 2010
11:38 pm
Best day of the year
Black Jelly Beans on sale
Second to start of baseball
Enjoy the haiku

Click on the cut
To read thirty baseball poems
You know you want to

Click hereCollapse )
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
10:19 am
Vacation learning experience
Things I learned from my vacation this past week:

1) If Tex and I are to travel together again we need a set agenda ahead of time. Likely one that involves a couple of days of Tex leaves really early in the morning so that he doesn't waste any of his time in a new location while I stay in bed until noon so that I don't get back from vacation more tired than I was at the start.

2) Tex and I can spend about four days straight together before we start to get on each others' nerves. We didn't formally stop speaking to each other, but keeping it from getting to that point required that we mostly stopped speaking to each other.

3) The manatee has no natural predator. I'm convinced that this means it tastes terrible, though I didn't find it on a menu anyplace to test this hypothesis. (Unfortunately, I did not learn how to spell predator until after sending out postcards.)

4) It's good to schedule a day off of work when returning from vacation. It's even better to remember that I have done so instead of showing up to an 8 AM meeting on the final day off.

5) Continental Airlines business model seems to be to provide something other than they agreed to and then supply upset customers with travel vouchers for just enough that they come back and try Continental again.

6) My uncle has poor taste in Chinese buffets.

7) Chick-fil-A not only has great lemonade but top notch WiFi.
Sunday, February 21st, 2010
3:33 pm
Where's Geroge?
Has anybody used http://www.wheresgeorge.com enough to get a good feel on how often bills get hit? My aunt gave me a stamp and inkpad that I've been using all month, but none of my 50 bills have been entered by anybody else yet.
Friday, October 30th, 2009
10:15 am
If I'm monologuing does that automatically make me the villain? That would explain so much.
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
3:31 pm
The Venn Diagram of things bothering me and things going on in my life have nearly total overlap currently. Latest to join the list is that I've had to be rude and/or forceful with several phone representatives today after determining that it was the only way to achieve my desired outcome. In one case it was because the person I was on the phone with was not doing her job well, but in others it was because of poor performance by their colleagues. I've been on both ends of those conversations, and I don't like it either way.
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
10:00 pm
Hey, pick a topic for me to write on!
I was thinking recently about a lack of posts on livejournal recently, and realized that I haven't been posting either. I've drafted a few posts in my head, but the only topics I am coming up with are state of my love life, politics, sports and my job. I'm not sure that anybody is interested in reading about any of those. So here's the deal. You pick a topic and I'll write a substantive post on it. Unless it's a field that I'm totally ignorant on and can't research easily I'll post at least three paragraphs on any topic.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
12:29 am
Smithee Awards
April 25, 2009
1800 Chem Bldg

The Smithee Awards are a celebration of cinematic bad taste. Every year
we survey a crop of bad films, harvest only the juiciest pieces, and mulch
them into an Awards Ceremony of questionable pedigree and taste. There
can only be one winner, but the ultimate loser will be the audience,
voting to determine the eventual victor. Nineteen categories times five
clips per category equals enough bad movies to keep everyone satisfied.


Many of these clips contain violence, nudity, and/or explicit language,
often at the same time. Also, unhealthy snacks (including Drinks of
Colors Not Found in Nature) WILL be served.


Disclaimer: This was the blurb from 2004 modified with this year's date. Most is still true, though I have heard rumors that all drinks will be of colors found in nature.
Saturday, February 7th, 2009
6:01 pm
Steroids in baseball
Sigh. One week until pitchers and catchers report. I should be excited. The baseball news world should be filled with stories about spring training battles and where some prominent veterans (Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreau, Ken Griffey Jr., Ivan Rodriguez...) will sign. Instead the news is going to be all about Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and the allegations that they each used steroids.


I grant that the activity is illegal, but it isn't any different to me than a player using a recreational drug, downloading copyrighted music illegally or any other supposedly "victimless crime"*. If the government has sufficient legally obtained evidence they can choose to prosecute. If the government doesn't have the evidence, doesn't try, or doesn't get the conviction then I don't care.

Performance enhancing medicine is commonplace in baseball. Lasik eye surgery. Advil. Rotator cuff surgery. Whichever over the counter supplements are still legal. These are all artificial performance enhancers. The difference between them and what are typically labeled as performance enhancing drugs is purely arbitrary. None of them should be used without proper supervision of a doctor, who must always put the patient's needs first and accurately inform the patient of the full effects and risks of the drug or procedure. If a batter can see the pitch better because of surgery that's great; better baseball for me to watch. If a pitcher arm heals faster because of pharmaceuticals that's great too; better baseball for me to watch.

The most common argument against players using PEDs are that it is an unfair advantage. Under the current CBA this is true, but in 2003 when the alleged infractions occurred it was essentially legal. The CBA stated that the tests were anonymous and that there was no penalty for a failed test. This was known to all players; therefore it was a fair advantage. Players on all teams knew that they could use these drugs without fear of reprisal from baseball or any other harm to their team. This was a level playing field.

Another common complaint is that it taints the record book. Somehow the assumption is that anything players used to train and compete before steroids is legitimate, but that modern PEDs are not. The problem with this is that the most hallowed record, the one broken by Bonds and that Rodriguez appears an even money bet to reach, the career home run record was previously held by an admitted user of illegal performance enhancing drugs. From Henry Aaron's autobiography I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story, "I was so frustrated that at one point I tried using a pep pill—a greenie—that one of my teammates gave me." Aaron went on to say that he stopped because the effect on him was negative; from which I think we can fairly infer that he would have continued using them if they had worked. The man Aaron replaced on the list? Babe Ruth, suspended multiple times by MLB for violating their rules and not subtle about violating federal drug laws by drinking during prohibition. All baseball statistics need to be taken in the contexts of the eras they were recorded in, whether it was an era of racial segregation, rampant amphetamine use or roughly 8.5% steroid use.

All of that said, Bud Selig should be suspended over this. The man gets the player's union to agree to the drug testing on the condition that the testing would be completely anonymous with no data saved to link individuals to samples or results. Breaching the CBA in a manner that is likely to cost an individual millions in endorsements is pretty darn serious. It's expected that another 97-104 names of players who also failed the tests in 2003 will soon surface. I don't want to hear anymore about this story, but if I'm going to I wish it would be in the form of a grievance by the union upheld by arbitration.

{sigh} Sorry, but the coverage of this always drives me mad. All I want to think about right now is who will win the World Series and who to draft for my fantasy team.

Oh, and for full disclosure, my performance in this rant was enhanced by the use of caffeine, pseudoephedrine and loratadine and artificial spell-checker.

*For the record I do not consider any of these crimes to be victimless. I have high regard for copyright laws. I disagree with the method of enforcement, but I do believe that the illegality of non-medicinal drugs is correct. These are sufficiently complex issues that I don't want to delve into them here any further than to state I believe in the innocence of anybody until they either plead guilty or are convicted.

Current Mood: frustrated
Thursday, December 11th, 2008
12:16 am
Copywright law
Does anybody here have any experience with copyright law as it applies to art?* I think that I'd like an M.C. Escher print, but in blue and white instead of black and white. I'm trying to figure out if legally I can hire somebody with more artistic talent than I possess to make the changes I want if I have first legally bought a print of the work.

(And yes, I know that I could easily do this without any chance of being sued for the copyright infringement. Respecting the rights and obeying the law are my issues, not a fear of retribution)

*Said because I know that my, and I suspect Mer's, time with MITS taught a lot about copyright law, but not this aspect of it.
Thursday, October 30th, 2008
5:54 pm
Reason #45217 that I hate driving...
Somebody hit my car in a parking lot today. (They were nice enough to leave a note and a phone number.)

Anyway, the bumper is now dented. I don't care about the aesthetics, I do care about safety. Any ideas on how to tell if the damage requires body work?
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
11:08 pm
A meme
The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

United States v. Nixon

1974 case essentially stating that the President is subject to checks and balances. In all fairness, I got the name wrong at first, thinking it was Nixon v. United States, but that was a later minor case involving a different Nixon. (Same United States though...)

"Neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisors calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises."—Chief Justice Warren Burger

Now I do agree with the Court on this one. If I had to name one I disagree with Dred Scott is the obvious case, with its ruling that after Scott, a slave, moved with his master to a free state that he was still property, and therefore did not have the right the bring a court case when he tried to sue for his freedom.

Among more recent cases I'm still upset about the ruling in Gore v. Bush, though I really don't know that legally it was wrong.

I strongly disagreed with the court's decision to not rule on the merits of Rumsfeld v. Padilla, rejecting it on a technicality of jurisdiction.

And, of course, I disagree with the decision in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, which upheld the McCain Feingold censorship act.
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
9:02 pm
I want to get a Cubs tie to wear if the Cubs make the playoffs. Which of these ties do you like best, keeping in mind that I will be wearing this to my job at a financial instituion? (Clicking on a picture should generate a larger image of the tie.)

Tie #1
Tie #2
Tie #3
Tie #4

Tie #5
Tie #6
Tie #7
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
6:18 pm
61 days until the election
The best part about having a car? I finally have a place to put bumper stickers. The first once I am getting is this:

And it's free! To get one, click here.
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
1:07 pm

George Carlin passed away. I'm totally in shock - he was one of those people that just seemed immortal for some reason.
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
12:41 pm
Right now I really miss confer. I want to post two serious rants, but I want to do so anonymously, since I don't trust the friends filter here sufficiently.
Monday, April 14th, 2008
12:41 pm
Bush's top-down torture policies
On Friday night, in a national television interview on ABC News, President Bush directly admitted that the White House was deeply involved in decisions about the CIA’s use of torture.

Recent reports indicate that members of the Bush administration including Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet met regularly and approved the CIA’s use of “combined” “enhanced” interrogation techniques -- tactics that amount to torture.

I just demanded that my members of Congress support strenuous efforts, including the appointment of an independent prosecutor, to hold President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and other high-ranking officials accountable for their role in crafting torture policy.

I thought you would like to know about this and would also want to do something about it. To take action, just follow the link below.

Monday, March 24th, 2008
12:57 pm
T.V. show intro memeage
Yoinked from Merrie, Dann, Dwinn, Nevik, and probably a few other people as well.

Find the opening sequence for one of your favorite old TV shows and post it to your LJ. Bonus points for datedness or obscurity. Play as many times as you like.

clips behind the cutCollapse )
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