Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Here at Self Portraits, the one thing we have in our lives is routine. Class, the occasional visit to the gym, and lots of reading. Then, Thursday mornings off due to a brilliant stretch of luck from the scheduling office.

There have been three classes cancelled this week. That means three classes (well, two, really) that will be rescheduled, and have been, at inconvenient time when we have a ton due. 

It's not that I'm mad we have more class. It's that it breaks my routine, which I only now realize I'm so used to.

On the bright side, spring training games started today.

Per Usual, TFR,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Port gets Political

I felt the need to write about something, and tonight is the non-State of the Union Address. What follows is thoughts from the broadcast, in bullet format, and written down as things happen during the speech.

Note: This is long, but they're quick notes.

- The pomp and circumstance of introductions, while historically based and somewhat exciting, could really be toned down to save a lot of time. Time is money, right? Are introductions cutting in to the economy? We'll see if that's part of the stimulus plan.
- Wolf is saying that the speech is going to be focused on domestic policy. Isn't that what we should have been doing a long time ago? Without abandoning foreign policy, focusing on improving domestically, in infrastructure, education, and environment? How much better off would we be if the money spent in Iraq was spend stateside?
- Sorry, Wolf. No matter how you spin it for ratings, this is not that historic of a moment. Important, yes. But not historic. It has happened before, and it will happen again, on a yearly basis (yeah, yeah, its not a State of the Union. But it's the same thing.) That does not make i historic, yet. If the speech becomes historic, that's one thing. The event itself, not to much.
- $5 says my friend Alwyn is a better photographer than the "official photographer of the US." Also, props to the President for throwing out left-handed handshakes when the right hand is occupied. Also, does Obama kiss Hillary Clinton during the normal course of their meetings? If so, does the rest of the cabinet feel left out?
- Ooooooo, presents for the leaders of each house. They're probably puppies.
- From the side, Chief Justice Roberts sort of looks like Chancellor Wrighton of Wash U.
On to the speech:
  - Early on, a lot of talk that sounds like he's still running for office. Stats about the past administration's time, and not enough talking about how to fix it, yet.
- It begins with jobs. But where, doing what? Are we going to see a New(er) Deal? 
- Camera on John Kerry. Looks like he has a newspaper under his arm.
- ... and on McCain with the word skepticism. 
- Not sure how I feel about the comedy lines dropped in to the speech. Obama is the type of charismatic speaker who can pull it off, because the public identifies with him as a person and as a politician. But this isn't really the time or place. 
- Wish I would've bought that domain first.
- A lot about cars, even if subtle mentions. Realistically, now is not good to buy a car, if we want to get over that oil hump he opened the speech with. Wait a few years, go electric.
 - Oh, Obama. Leading in industry does NOT mean ignoring what other countries do better (the Korean battery comment). Free markets encourage specialization, which makes everyone better off. You know that, I'd bet.
- The third challenge: About damn time we recognize education is important. Raise teacher salaries, attract better teachers, make education better. This promise will not be able to be kept without higher salaries for those who teach.
- Is the quitting on your country (by dropping out of high school) going to be the new tag line?
- Highest proportion of college grads by 2020: Take that, Scandinavia!
- Updating an earlier note, its probably not a newspaper, but a copy of the speech they all seem to have. My mistake.
- Is that a subtle corn subsidy shot? Are we finally getting rid of the Archer Daniels Midland nonsense subsidy?
- No torture. that's probably good.
- Sciences- good. About damn time, again. But I'm biased.

Overall, a good speech, if things promised can be implemented. Only time will tell.

Per usual, Thanks for reading.


Monday, February 16, 2009


Since I don't update nearly as often as some expect for a blog, read the other's people's blogs on the right. I recommend all four of them.

Go read!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

The headline will read across newspapers in the morning: A pun about spring, and a new season. After months of nothing and hot stove, Major League Baseball spring training starts tomorrow. Here's why it's great, and it has nothing to do with baseball. Except that it's about baseball.

No matter what happened last season, spring training marks the beginning of something great. as Tampa Bay showed us last season, anyone has a shot at running from worst to first. Cubs fans everywhere get hope that next year is now. Padres fans have faith we might not lose 100 games. It might not be much, but it's something.

Spring training means the start of times getting warmer, summer approaching, and the enjoyment that is the love of a game. Spring training means breaking out the leather and throwing around the pill, and the start of intramural and little leagues everywhere. It's the change in the sports pages, and the focus of fans everywhere, who no longer have to put up without statistics. 

It is, in a word, perfect. The best it can possibly be... until opening day.

Per usual, thanks for reading.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happiest day of the year

This post was going to be about the sadness of having Yahoo! tell me that I don't currently have any sports teams, and about how spring training starts this week, and so does fantasy baseball registration. 

Then, an email came in to my inbox, literally as I got to the page to post. 
"You are invited..." to join a fantasy baseball league.

God I love spring.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

World's best inventions

My excessive use of wireless internet got me thinking as to the world's best inventions. I present a preliminary list, with lots of things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

In no order:
- Wireless internet: The ability to take the internet to class, to fields, and anywhere else you may like is pretty damn cool.
- The internet itself: no explanation necessary.
- The light bulb: my default answer. Think about how different things would be if still by candlelight.
- Soap: just to appease the medical world.
- Fire: Technically a discovery, and not an invention. But because it led to cooked food, it gets a mention.
- Birth Control: Idea courtesy of a friend, when he was asked the question. Self explanatory, really.
- The ball: Perhaps also a discovery, but I'm going to go with the first manufactured ball, with the intent to play sports. Fantasy geeks everywhere thank you.

This list is far from comprehensive- just starting the debate.


Addendum: I've been told I forgot the printing press, and the combustion engine. Both good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I'm not the best of spellers, and while I think I've been pretty good so far on this blog, I have issues within my class notes. This just in: the word 'sovereign' is very difficult to spell. It took me four tries to just get it close enough to have spellcheck know what I was talking about.

Just another day in Constitutional Law... at least it's warm out.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feeling Accomplished

Moved back home today from the housesitting, and it's really awful nice to be back. Went grocery shopping to re-stock the kitchen, did laundry, cleaned the house a bit, and ran the dishwasher, all of which lead me to the point:

I feel really good today. I feel like I cleaned up a lot of things, and made good food choices at the supermarket. I bought a ton of veggies, then made what I think was a healthy dinner (who really knows anymore). Then I watched the biggest loser, which made me like my choices even better.

It's just been one of those days where everything feels good, and I wanted to share. 



Monday, February 2, 2009

The underappreciated

Just a quick shout out to something I'd noticed before, but never thought about: the shubbery in the highway median. It makes the highway prettier, blocks the headlights from the other side, and does a damn good job dividing the highway. I also would like to know who cuts it, how often, and with what machine. Can they just drive with blades on the side that cut? If you have answers, I want them.

Per Usual, Thanks for reading. (from now on, perhaps an acronym? PUTFR? we'll see.)


Sunday, February 1, 2009


I went and hung out with a few friends last night, marking the first time I actually went somewhere in a while. Law school takes a lot of time, and most social events are geared towards drinking. While that's all well and good, I'm really not much of a drinker. Law school drinks a lot more than I do.

Point being, as law students, we run very short on time. Consider this a rally cry for doing things that don't involve over-crowded bars, loud music, and lots of booze. Call me old fashioned (and super competitive), but I would prefer a nice little board game night. And yes, I realize how lame this makes me.

Some quick hitters:
- 15 year olds really enjoy just being loud. This is what I have learned form house sitting.
- 70 degree weather is significanty better than the cold.
- I'm sort of surprised at how good my friends from college have been about keeping up. Good work.

Thanks for reading, per usual.