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Steve Brown's Journal
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Date:2004-08-09 21:05
Subject:DVD Roundup and The Fall
Security:Public
Mood: sore

Well, I sprained my ankle pretty badly yesterday. I'd like to be able to say it was in some more interesting or even heroic fashion, but truthfully I tripped jumping off some steps. Sigh.

But anyway, the fall semester is getting underway two weeks from today. Not only for myself but also for C.J. who has chosen to descend to Huntington to attend that other university.

Since not much is going on as a result of my immobile status, I thought I'd take this opportunity to point out some noteworthy (to me) DVD releases upcoming in the next few months. Let's call them the Steve DVD picks.

August 31 - Star Trek: The Original Series season 1

September 7 - Star Trek: Generations special collector's edition

October 5 - Fahrenheit 9/11

October 19 - The Mummy/The Invisible Man/The Creature from the Black Lagoon legacy collections

November 2 - Star Trek: The Original Series season 2

November 23 - Seinfeld seasons 1&2/Seinfeld season 3

December 7 - Star Trek: The Original Series season 3

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Date:2004-08-02 16:19
Subject:2 or 3 Weeks
Security:Public
Mood: amused

Okay, so I didn't actually make any convention updates. Like anyone is surprised at this point when I forget to make an entry. And before I return to that subject, happy birthday to my Uncle Jeff.

But anyway, yes, John Kerry is now the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. And his acceptance speech Thursday exceeded my expectations I must admit. John Edwards, our next Vice President, also did well on Wednesday.

The fall semester gets under way in only three weeks. I would ask where the time has gone, and I do feel the sentiment still, but until a very short time ago (as in minutes) I thought classes started the 16th so I actually just picked up an extra week of summer. Kinda. ; ) Although I'm also an idiot.

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Date:2004-07-24 21:44
Subject:Top 15
Security:Public
Mood: thirsty

If you haven't seen it yet, you should really check out the incredibly hilarious animated film at http://www.jibjab.com.

The Democratic National Convention begins on Monday and will formally nominate John Kerry as our nominee for President on Thursday. Expect further entries on this subject in coming days.

Earlier today, I was challenged to determine my favorite television series of all time. I eventually managed to come up with this list of my 15 favorite shows. It's a somewhat odd assortment of comedies, animated series, dramas, and of course, Star Trek series. So here goes:
1) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
2) Star Trek: The Next Generation
3) The West Wing
4) Seinfeld
5) Star Trek: The Original Series
6) Friends
7) The Critic
8) Batman: The Animated Series
9) The Simpsons
10) Frasier
11) Star Trek: Enterprise
12) Law and Order
13) Sports Night
14) Star Trek: Voyager
15) Cheers

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Date:2004-07-06 19:33
Subject:Kerry-Edwards 2004
Security:Public
Mood: good

And the Democratic ticket is set. This morning John Kerry selected North Carolina Senator John Edwards to be his running mate. It was the most obvious choice and was expected by many, myself included, but that's because it was also probably the wisest choice for Senator Kerry to make.

So look out Bush and Cheney. To quote your own words from four years ago, Mr. President, "The wait has been long, but it won't be long now." Bring it on.

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Date:2004-07-04 22:55
Subject:Independence Day
Security:Public
Mood: okay

Although in the strictest sense, little of note occured on July 4, 1776, with the vote on the Declaration of Independence having occured 2 days earlier (July 2nd being the day John Adams was technically referring to in the below quote) and with the signing taking place over the next few days, the 4th of July has long since come to be celebrated as the anniversary of our nation's birth.

Two hundred and twenty eight years have passed since our founding fathers declared their independence from King George III. The world has dramatically changed in countless ways. But the United States of America continues to stand, regardless of the challenges that have presented themselves over the centuries, as a beacon of freedom and of hope to countless millions across the globe. As the shining city upon the hill, as the late President Reagan was fond of putting it.

So Happy Birthday, America.

And let's change Presidents by your 229th. ; )

Today's quote (reused from last year :P):

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, for evermore. You will think me transported by enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this declaration and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction." - John Adams

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Date:2004-06-22 23:23
Subject:Summer Start
Security:Public
Mood: drained

It's been so long this time since my last update that I'm not even going to attempt to play catch up. I'll just start again at the present.

Yesterday was the official beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. Um, yay I guess.

I went to see Shrek 2 today. It was good, although I would say the original was slightly better (even though Puss in Boots was cool :P).

Elliott and I spent several hours this evening playing Dance Dance Revolution, which has left me rather exhausted but I do think I'm starting (emphasis on starting) to improve. I'm better then Elliott in any case. ;)

In Star Trek DVD news, The Original Series season 1 is scheduled to be released on August 31 and the special edition of Star Trek: Generations is coming out September 7.

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Date:2004-06-02 10:26
Subject:2 for 2
Security:Public
Mood: energetic

And so it is June. And it seems my period of frequent updates has come to an end. Which means the natural order of things has been restored. Let's see...

Last Thursday was C.J.'s high school graduation. I suppose congratulations are in order even if he will be going to Marshall in the fall.

I spent the weekend in Morgantown and finished moving out of my old apartment.

Yesterday, Stephanie Herseth won a special election to fill South Dakota's vacant Congressional seat (vacated in January by Republican Bill Janklow who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter). Which brings Democrats one seat closer to retaking the House of Representatives. Sure, it's not likely to happen this year-the White House and Senate are much more promising as valid targets-but every little bit of ground gained reduces the Republican majority and brings us a step closer to Speaker Pelosi.

Additionally this is actually the second Democratic pickup already this year. A few months ago Ben Chandler won the vacant seat in the Kentucky 6th. Is this a sign of Democratic momentum in 2004? No guarantees of course, but I'd rather be on our side then theirs.

"Back in 2000, a Republican friend of mine warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Al Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true." - James Carville

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Date:2004-05-14 14:05
Subject:Goodnight, Seattle
Security:Public
Mood: okay

That's right, I'm updating again. Shocking though that may be.

I left Morgantown two days ago and am presently back home. So I guess that means I'm on summer break, huh? Yeah, I'm a quick one, I know.

Last night's final episode of Frasier was nothing to write home about, but it at least tied up most of the show's loose ends. Niles and Daphne's son was born, Martin got married, Roz was promoted to station manager, and Frasier flew to Chicago to chase after his girlfriend who had just moved there. Which I'm sure would end horribly if the show had even one more episode left. ; )

Spectacular though it was not, Frasier's swan song was decidedly better then Wednesday's mediocre next to last episode of The West Wing's fifth season. To honor their annual commitment to death and violence, Admiral Fitzwallace was killed in a car bombing and Donna is in critical condition. I suppose I'm probably in the minority (well, maybe not, but who knows) who would prefer Donna not survive her injuries over her and Josh beginning a romance as is most likely about to occur.

Speaking of The West Wing, its second season is released on DVD on Tuesday. A perfect opportunity to recollect the now passed glory days of what was once one of television's finest series but which went on too long. Hmm, like Frasier...

On a totally unrelated note, Tuesday was the West Virginia primary. Joe Manchin (predictably) won the Democratic nomination for Governor, and should easily defeat Republican candidate Monty Warner in November. 89 year old Ken Hechler was nominated to serve yet another term as Secretary of State. Oh well, at least Ken's a great guy. We could certainly do worse. And Justice Warren McGraw was fortunately able to overcome his primary challenge.

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Date:2004-05-08 22:32
Subject:The Update That Boredom Built
Security:Public
Mood: bored

Since I'm frankly rather short on ideas for something to do at the moment but am not ready for sleep I'm taking the largely unprecedented action of actually updating two days in a row. Shocking, I know. As you can probably imagine there's little real justification for another entry but I'm going to make do.

Although they technically haven't officially moved out yet, both my now former roommates have left for their ancestral homelands. Um, that's homes for those not in the know. Forrest left this morning and Erik late this afternoon. So then there was one.

Last night Forrest, The Chad, James, and I went to see the new movie Van Helsing. What to say about Van Helsing? Well, it certainly had a lot of visual effects. ; )
I wouldn't say it was a bad movie. But nor would I for a moment say it was a good movie. It was pretty entertaining though (at least to me) filled with many often amusing homages to the classic Universal monster films. In fact, it was kinda like House of Dracula (1945) on acid with 21st century CGI. But if I had ever had a point I probably would have just digressed from it.

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Date:2004-05-07 10:25
Subject:The One About the Series and Semester Finales
Security:Public
Mood: pleased

Well, well. Another semester bites the dust. Only one final to go and it'll be complete.

Last night was the series finale of Friends, or as NBC would have had you believe it to be: THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. It was an okay episode but I'm mainly just glad I'm never going to have to see any Friends commercials ever again.

On a related note, Frasier is ending its 11 year run next Thursday. It was an incredible show in its day, but unfortunately that day was the mid 90s, so it's way past time for it to go.

Since I'm on a roll with this popular entertainment talk, I finally watched the Indiana Jones trilogy over the last couple weeks. I'm not really sure why I waited so long on that one. But yes, for those keeping score, that is two incredibly popular film trilogies that I had never viewed until very recently.

I beat the game Deus Ex: Invisible War earlier this week (after a several week hiatus of not playing) and I must say, although it isn't a bad game, it is an incredibly disappointing one, particularly when compared to the excellence of its predecessor.

Last week the left leaning clubs at WVU (Young Democrats, Sierra Club, ACLU, Students for Dean, Students for Kerry, Students United for Separation of Church and State, BiGLM, and FEM) formed a progressive caucus that's going to organize joint efforts for the fall. It's been an idea that's been tossed around occasionally for years but it seems to have actually happened this time. Must be Bush's uniting powers. Of his enemies, that is.

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Date:2004-04-25 23:39
Subject:Family
Security:Public
Mood: relaxed

Um, yeah, I guess that post convention update never happened. It went well. We also had a press conference in the Lair with WV Dem Chairman Mike Callaghan on Thursday which wasn't as well attended as it would have been in an ideal world but wasn't that bad.

And wow, I can't believe only two weeks are left in the semester. And that includes finals. Wow.

I spent much of today at a family reunion attended by (excluding myself): C.J., Kira, Mom, Brent, my Great Grandmother, Uncle Dan, Aunt Melissa, Jacob, Mackenzie, Aunt Ruth, Aunt Janice, Uncle Wendell, Uncle Mark, and Uncle Mark's girlfriend whose name utterly escapes me.

Thanks to early voting, I cast my ballot in the Democratic primary on Wednesday. It felt good, I must say, particulary in the category of President.

Since everyone in my family seems to be doing so, I created a quiz on myself (one of my very favorite subjects ;) ) a little while ago. Feel free to take it.

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Date:2004-04-16 17:37
Subject:Anybody But Bush, Right?
Security:Public
Mood: bored

Well, as has become the norm, it's been a while since my last update.

So let's see...

Pat and I found an apartment on Cornell Street (or is it Avenue?-well, whatever), so that's where I'll be staying next year.

Yesterday was my first meeting as president of Young Dems. It was, um, efficient, clocking in at about 11 minutes long. Maybe next week I need to add some rambling to rack up some more time.

I just got back a little while ago from a John Kerry rally in Pittsburgh. I must admit, he is better in person then on television (not that he could be worse ;) ). I just might be able to stomach giving him my full support. Hopefully.

Since he's being officially awarded it today, congrats to Forrest for winning the Goldwater Scholarship. The prestige of the award I suppose outweighs the fact that it is named for one of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party.

The state young democrats convention is this weekend in Clarksburg, so it's possible I'll update afterwards. Possibly.

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Date:2004-04-04 12:45
Subject:Another Democrat Days Complete
Security:Public
Mood: hungry

Well, it's now April. And daylight savings time began this morning. Both of these facts are somewhat in conflict with the fact that it's presently SNOWING, but what can you do?

Democrat Days was this past week, and it went well. James Carville was here Tuesday and the Gluck Theater was absolutely packed. The Wednesday candidate forum wasn't as well attended as we would have preferred but it still went well. We made around $400 from the Rock Against Bush concert on Thursday. Unfortunately, the College Republicans beat our team again at political jeopardy on Friday, but such is life when you play against Jim Mullins. I was being Trebek anyway so it's not like I technically lost I suppose.

We're really entering the final stretch of the semester now with only about a month to go. You won't hear any complaints from me about that. Until next time...

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Date:2004-03-27 01:21
Subject:Lennie Leaves
Security:Public
Mood: exhausted

Time certainly does fly, doesn't it? It'll be summer in no time. And on a related front, we've actually been experiencing warm weather. The temperature was in the high 60s today.

Democrat Days is next week. Although I hesitate to tempt fate like this, it certainly seems like this is going to be by far the best one. Particularly the James Carville AFL-CIO town hall meeting Tuesday which apparently is going to be covered by MTV. Coolness. Or something like that.

Speaking of Young Democrats, elections were yesterday. I was elected president and L.J. was elected vice president. Additionally Ashley was selected as treasurer, Mary Anna will be secretary, and Pat was re-elected as parliamentarian.

On an unrelated but very sad note, it appears Jerry Orbach (Detective Lennie Briscoe) will be leaving the cast of Law and Order at the end of this season after well over a decade on the show. The series just won't be the same without him. Sigh. (gavel sound)

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Date:2004-03-19 23:28
Subject:Meaningless Anniversaries, New Beginnings, and the Vernal Equinox
Security:Public
Mood: okay

Well, spring break has basically come to an end. I'll be returning to Morgantown sometime in the next couple hours. However, the actual season spring does officially begin this weekend. Which means it's no longer allowed to snow. Right?

Whether that turns out to be true or not, what is certain is that there are less then two months left in this semester. Summer will be here in no time.

Oh, and Democrat Days is now only a little over a week away.

It was one year ago today that I made my first entry in this journal. Time flies.

Two days ago, Governor Dean announced the launch of the second phase of Dean for America, entitled Democracy for America. Its purpose is to support progressive candidates for office at all levels of government and to advocate grassroots involvement in the political process.

And I believe that's it for today.

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Date:2004-03-12 08:18
Subject:Spring Break Begins
Security:Public
Mood: good

Well, it has been quite a while since I updated hasn't it? Oops.

I'm currently back home in New Martinsville as spring break has begun. And it's about time break got here.

At the Young Dems meeting last night we started officer nominations and Noah nominated me for president. Mary Anna's running for secretary and although they weren't technically there to accept their nominations, Pat's running for parliamentarian and L.J.'s running for vice president.

Since the lineup for Democrat Days has YET AGAIN changed since my last update, here's the current, and God willing, final schedule:

Tuesday 3/30 - AFL-CIO town hall meeting (hosted by James Carville)

Wednesday 3/31 - candidate forum

Thursday 4/1 - Anybody But Bush show

Friday 4/2 - banquet at Rose's/Political Jeopardy

And speaking of politics, I have reluctantly decided to support John Kerry for President. Anybody but Bush...anybody but Bush... I just have to keep saying that. ; )

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Date:2004-03-02 19:54
Subject:Super Tuesday
Security:Public
Mood: lethargic

Today is 'Super Tuesday', on which primaries and caucuses take place in ten states, New York, California, Ohio, Minnesota, Georgia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland. It would appear John Kerry has all but clinched the Democratic nomination. I suppose congratulations are in order.

Speaking of congratulations, Howard Dean scored his first primary win tonight when, despite having suspended his campaign two weeks ago, he won his home state of Vermont with, according to current numbers, 53% of the vote. At least the people who know him best realize he was the best choice to be President.

Oh yes, and WVU put up the schedule of courses for next semester today, which may not seem important to you or I but to Forrest is like Christmas. ; )

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Date:2004-02-29 13:12
Subject:Take A Leap
Security:Public
Mood: good

Well, today is that once in four years day, February the 29th - Leap Day. Those born on this date get to celebrate four birthdays now I guess. ; )

Friday was the official midpoint of the semester so we're now half way done. Yay. And only two weeks remain until spring break. Which deserves a second yay.

Democrat Days (March 29th-April 3) is coming along well. The tentative schedule is as follows:

Monday - voter registration drive

Tuesday - AFL-CIO town hall meeting

Wednesday - candidate forum

Thursday - debate with College Republicans OR if the Republicans back out, Jim Lees, candidate for governor

Friday - banquet at Rose's

Saturday - Anybody But Bush II (Although let's face it, by then we should probably be backing John Kerry.)

Today's quote:
Frasier: "God, I hate lawyers."
Niles: "Me too. But they make wonderful patients. They have excellent medical benefits and they never get better."
-- Frasier

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Date:2004-02-21 13:57
Subject:Marching Towards March
Security:Public
Mood: content

Spring break is now only three weeks away. Wow. Not that I'm complaining of course.

Speaking of spring, it was beginning to look like it might be arriving soon for the past couple days but that's been halted by the snow and sleet that's been falling all day.

On Thursday, Dad, Theresa, and C.J. came over for a doctor's appointment of C.J.'s. To quote his own journal entry on the matter, "Turns out I have some kind of tremor and have to go back in a year."

Although I, unlike some, harbor no illusions about the importance of my opinion on such matters, I would like to momentarily pretend that isn't the case and offer my endorsement of L.J. Ulrich for WVU SGA Board of Governors. So if anyone at WVU actually reads this before the election, vote for L.J. Although with my track record of supporting losing candidates, he might be better off without my support. ; )

Since there's not much going on at the moment, I think that's pretty much it. Except of course for today's random quote:

Jay: "Mom, Dad, I never made you laugh."
Franklin: "Well, I did chuckle a bit when you tried to eat that bird and fell off
the cliff."
Eleanor: "No, Franklin, that was the Roadrunner."
Jay: "No, that was me..."
-- The Critic

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Date:2004-02-18 17:36
Subject:Beginnings and Ends
Security:Public
Mood:determined

I should note that this entry is going to essentially be a rather pious defense of Howard Dean's Presidential campaign and those who support it and will be more a speech then anything else. You have been warned. ; )

At 1 pm today, Governor Dean suspended his campaign for the Presidency. He will however remain on the ballot and though we obviously can no longer hope to win the nomination, I will certainly still be voting for him when West Virginia's primary finally rolls around on May 11th.

And we've by no means given up the fight. Dean for America is now going to be transformed into a campaign not to elect Howard Dean President but to fulfill our larger goal, to take back America. We'll do everything in our power to elect progressive minded Democrats to Congress and to shape the national debate. We will continue to stand together to fight for health care for all Americans, balanced budgets, and a foreign policy consistent with American values.

So, as the Governor himself said earlier today, the first stage of our campaign has come to a close, but the next stage is only now beginning. No prize worth winning is ever won easily, so as our goal is daunting so must be the challenge we expect.

The forces lined against us are monumental indeed, but time, and ultimately history are on our side.

The tea is still in the harbor.

And that brings us to today's quote:

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

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