static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A little out of order

I would normally talk about my weekend (if I did anything during the weekend) on my first post of the week. As I voted yesterday however, I felt that was more important. Having said that, I did have an eventful weekend. On Saturday, I went to a discussion on Saturday at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park about genetically modified food. It was a talk sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council as part of their Future Perfect: Conversations on the Meaning of the Genetics Revolution series. The talk was moderated by a food historian and featured a geneticist and an ethicist talking about the issues surrounding genetically modified food. The talk was neither pro nor con, it simply brought up the issues and let people make up their own minds on how they felt about the topic. They also brought up issues that, while they are not genetically modified issues, have been tied to the overall issue, like the loss of biological diversity, globalization, and who really benefits from the production of genetically modified foods. I don't have a problem with genetically modified foods as long as the research has been done by a credible establishment that indicates that they are safe for human consumption. There were some people there however, that had already made up their minds against GMO before even the talk began and there was nothing that anyone was going to say that was going to change their mind. After the talk, I went to the Gin Mill for lunch and watched MSU get stomped on by Indiana.

I had an early evening on Saturday because I had to get up early on Sunday. I was volunteering with One Brick at Montrose Harbor for a 5K and 10K race. We worked from 8-11 AM at the refreshment tables serving water, Gatorade, bananas, energy bars, and candy. I ran into a few people that I get along well with and enjoy the company of. After we were done we went to lunch. While my sense of time was a little messed up because of the time change and because I had to get up early on Sunday, it was a good day.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Election Day

Today was election day for me. I voted because I will be working as an election judge outside of my precinct so I will not be able to vote then. While I did research most posts, I was a little lacking in the lesser positions of county government. I did however look at the judges ratings from various bar associations to try to determine who the people that worked with the judges most thought were the most qualified for their positions. Being a liberal Democrat, I could have just walked in and voted for a straight Democratic ticket. But I don't think a one party government is good anywhere. For those positions that I voted for that I felt informed, I did examine all candidates. As it was, I didn't vote a straight party line which is all that I am going to reveal because I don't think it's anyone's business.

Now that I have voted, I can spend the next week reading my election judge book. I don't think it will be a terribly hard job, but I do think that I should be as prepared as I can be. I do plan on brining my book with me, but it will help, if I have a problem, to have an idea as to where to look.

I hope that everyone qualified, takes their responsibility seriously and votes. This is a very important election.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is going to be much more stream of consciousness than it usually is. Most of the time when i post I at least have an idea what I am going to talk about. I haven't done anything this week and there wasn't anything that I read that I felt that I needed to comment on. I have been going to Molecular Sieve School at work. It is Thursday which is the night of Cafe Society but I didn't feel like going tonight. While the subject is important (North Korea), I really didn't think that I had anything to say about it. I probably won't go next week either because it will be the start of the Chicago Humanities Festival and I want to see Paul Krugman, who will be the opening speaker. Saturday, I will be going to a genetics talk and on Sunday, I will be volunteering at a running race.
So, until the next time I write...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I work in the Adsorbents group at UOP. Our group is doing Adsorbent School this week and I am attending many of the classes. We were going through Adsorbent Dynamics this morning and I made a realization. When I was in the Navy going to Naval Nuclear Power School, one of the classes that I had to take was Thermodynamics. It was my worst class. What can I say, I didn't get it. When I got to MSU and was taking my first semester of Physical Chemistry, I got to see Thermodynamics again. I hated it. While I will take part of the responsibility, I will also blame it on my professor. He was incredibly intelligent, being a Rhodes Scholar, but being as smart as he was, he couldn't teach. I passed the class but I still didn't get it. While I was listening to the lecture today, I realized that my job is all about thermodynamics. That part of chemistry that has been my nemesis is what is paying my paycheck.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Upcoming Election

There are a lot of things that I could say about the upcoming election but I won't say them because I think its unnecessary. Those people that know me already know how I feel about the political situation in this country and anything else that I could say would simply be redundant.What I actually wanted to talk about is me (and what a surprise that is). In the election in 2004, I volunteered as an election monitor and stood outside several polling places making sure that those people that were legally permitted to vote were allowed to vote. I handed out flyers that enumerated a voter's rights and I had a phone number where I could reach a lawyer if we really ran into trouble. A voter only needed my help (aside from the flyering) a few times and I only had to call a lawyer once. At the end of the day I was exhausted but I was very glad to have done what I did. This yearI am going to actually be an election judge. One of my issues is to ensure that everyone who is registered to vote is allowed to vote so in August when I got an email suggesting I sign up as an election judge, I did. I almost immediately began second guessing myself and I was thinking of waving it off when I got a call from the county clerk's office asking if I was interested. The next day, I received a date for training so i decided I wouldn't call to cancel. Having said that, I was still thinking of blowing off training and not doing the judge thing. My training was scheduled for last Saturday and I was undecided until Friday when I received a letter telling me where I was going to be working. My decision was made. I went to the training and I will be an election judge on November 7.

I now have to do some research to figure out who I will be voting for. I won't be working in my precinct (although I will be working close) so I will have to vote early.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My social calendar for this week

I last wrote on Monday and said I was going to be busy this week and I was although as I have also said, it was a good busy. On Tuesday, I saw the last of the movies I was going to see in the Chicago International Film Festival, darkbluealmostblack. It was a Spanish film that combined comedy and drama about being trapped by circumstance. It reminded me of a Pedro Almodovar film and it was very good.

Yesterday, I went to a One Brick happy hour which was to benefit a Chicago elementary school. I happened to meet yet another MSU alum. This girl was named Lauren and she had just moved to Chicago a month ago. She was also from the same hometown as my friend and last roommate at MSU, Dan Lake. She thought she went to school with Dan's younger brother, but after talking to Dan, I figured out that it was his cousin. She was very cool and I hope to see her again.

Tonight was supposed to be another meeting of Cafe' Society and while I did go, it was cancelled due to lack of interest. My next event may be cheering at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday although as it may be pretty cold, I may not go. So I may actually have a stretch at home. Time will tell...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lectures, Volunteering, Discussion, and Movies

I have been very busy for the last couple of weeks. So busy in fact, that I don't really remember all of what I have been doing. In addition to work (which is normal), I have been in the city an average of 5 nights a week. In the last week, it has been the Chicago International Film Festival and a discussion (with Cafe Society) at the Chicago Freedom Museum about the sanctity of the 1st Amendment. I also went this weekend to Kokomo, Indiana to my Aunt Dolly's wedding. I have to say that I think that I have been well picking my movies for the film festival which is actually kind of unusual because there have been a couple of years that I have seen some really bad movies. I made a point of seeing a documentary (which actually turned out not to be a documentary but a dramatization) and of the six movies I saw, the only movie that I saw that was American was the "documentary". In addition the two talks with Cafe' Society since my last post were both very interesting, the first was about the need for scientific literacy in the general population in order to participate intelligently in the democratic process and the one last week I mentioned. It did ask to look at freedom from the view of the censors and while I do see a small point to that, I don't think it is within a governments power to strip a person of his rights.

My business continues this week with another movie, a happy hour with One Brick, and a discussion with Cafe Society about how safe our schools are.