International House of Dan: December 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

Dan's 2013 List of Christmas Demands

It is time for what I believe is the 8th public iteration of my List of Christmas Demands. As usual, you are not all expected to get me all of the things on this list, it only matters that they are all gotten; if one of you wishes to tackle the whole thing, that's ok, and it's ok if each of you takes on a single item. I only ask that each of you finds the gift level you feel is appropriate... and then exceeds it!

I realize that the list has become the only thing I ever end up publishing on this blog anymore, so I've gone through and actually changed a lot of the usual categories.  This year you will find a lot more Adidas stuff, and also more techy-type stuff.  Happy Holidays.

So, without further ado, and in keeping with tradition, I will now help you decide not just whether to get me something, but also what to get me by issuing the following List of Christmas Demands (in no particular order):

1. Adidas "Star Wars" AT-AT t-shirt. I saw someone wearing one of these in Buenos Aires and thought it was pretty cool.  I want one.

2. Items with the 1580 Buenos Aires coat of arms. Usually, this is where money goes, but it takes me forever to find weird currencies that convert to a dollar, and the people who get me money are not readers of the list, so I've decided to free up the slot for items bearing the 1580 coat of arms of the City of Buenos Aires.  I think it looks very cool and should be on t-shirts and such.

3. Books. I still like books, but still not all books. I'm still picky about books, so I still tend to shop for obscure little reads that nobody else likes at used book stores that sell them for far less than they are worth. The following selections are made in no particular order (do not worry about duplicating a selection, booksellers are excellent about exchanges and I promise I'll exchange the other person's, not yours!).  The books marked with an asterisk (*) are still on my list since last year:

*a. "Coincidentally" by George Rutler

*b. "The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy" by James Evans

c. "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets" by Simon Singh

*d. "Interesting Collection Of Curious Anecdotes, Scarce Pieces, And Genuine Letters: In Which Some Obscure, But Important, Historical Facts Are Cleared Up, And Set In A Just Light (1790)" by John Mansfield

*e. "Birth of the Chess Queen: A History" by Marilyn Yalom

f. "El Principito" by  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (in Spanish, s'il vous plait)
g. "Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics"

*h. "The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals" by E. P. Evans

i. "At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1883-1943" by Erika Lee
j. "The Story of Beta Theta Pi", by Francis W. Shepardson

k. "Immigrants in the Lands of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870-1914" (Cornell Studies in Comparative History)
*l. "The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel" by William Goldbloom Bloch
*m. "The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England", by Robin Oggins

*n. "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate" by Robert Kaplan
*o. "The Miniature Schnauzer" by Anne Fitzgerald (bonus points if you can find the 1935 edition)
p. "Con el Deporte No Se Juega - 2" by Caloi
4. Clothes. In the continuing process of becoming more of a grown-up, I am still accepting dressier sweaters, slacks, shoes and shirts.  Despite Ellerstina's disappointing performance in the 2013 Argentine polo season, I am still a fan of Etiqueta Negra, so anything similar will probably work. Email me for details on sizes, etc.

5. "The Simpsons" Gear.
DVD's, collectibles, games, apparel... these are always a good bet.

6. Charitable Donations. As most of you know, I am personally involved with a handful of Chicago non-profit organizations that can always use help - just to highlight a few:  I am on the board of the Argentina Chicago Foundation, a local organization that raises funds in Chicago to help repair schools in impoverished parts of rural Argentina.  Each year we select a project and raise funds toward its completion.  I am on the junior board of Urban Initiatives, a nonprofit that runs health, education, and character development programming for kids in 22 of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). With participation in soccer programs as an incentive, kids are empowered to live a healthy lifestyle, value education, and enhance their personal and social development.  I am on the Attorney Committee of Safe Humane Chicago, an alliance of non-traditional partners that recognize the connections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the benefits of the human-animal bond.  SHC runs a number of programs, including the Court Case Dogs, where canine victims of neglect and abuse who have been rescued by police and animal control are paired with volunteers who socialize and train them so they can be adopted by loving homes. 

7. Trips. I'm actually doing pretty well as far as travel goes.  Surprisingly, I do not wish to go to Brasil for the World Cup - I'd rather watch all the action from the comfort of home (though I would probably accept a trip to Buenos Aires for the final if it looks like a repeat of 86 is inevitable).  I will, however, accept work-related trips, such as to the AILA Mid-Year Winter Conference in the Cayman Islands next month, or if you want to pay for my flight and hotel to the 2014 AILA Annual Conference in Boston next June, I suppose that's ok too.

8. "Statue of Frogs". Yes, this again.  One of my professors in law school had a small metal figurine on his desk, it was three frogs dancing on a base that read "Statue of Frogs" (a brilliant play on UCC 2-201!!). I have searched far and wide for one of these, for several years, but to no avail. I STILL can't even find a picture of it. I want one.

9. Non-Nike Running Stuff. My dislike of Nike is a matter of public record, but they have unfortunately aligned themselves with the i people so that any device that plays music for running has to use Nike.  Fortunately, Adidas has something called "MiCoach," which includes a watch-like device that appears to do all the fitnessy stuff and also play music.  I'm not sure how the music is loads onto the thing, but it seems to think it can play it.  A more convenient idea may be for me to upgrade my Blackberry to one of those Droidy things and hook it up to the MiCoach app, but then I would have to give up keys on my phone - and we all know that's just silly.  Another option for you to get me non-Nike running stuff is to pay for some of my races in 2014.  There are many to choose from around Chicago, so email me about scheduling if you see one you would like to pay for me to participate in. 

10. Thomann Beer. There is a small brewery/restaurant in Wiesen, Germany, (a borough of Bad Staffelstein, in Bavaria) called Brauerei-Gasthaus Thomann. I have no reason to believe that I have any ownership stake in or direct family relation to the owners of this establishment, but I am very interested in sampling their hefeweizen. Failing that, they apparently have coasters. Some of those would work until I get myself to the brewery one day.

11. A Tablet. I think one of these gizmos might be useful to me for my law-talking career.  They seem light and have keyboards, and appear easier to carry than bulky laptops.  I could take it to court to get work done during down time, and its large screen would let me navigate my calendar more easily than my Blackberry does.

12. Sports Memorabilia. As most of you know, I am a big fan of various sports teams - you name the sport, country, and league, and I probably have a team I really, really like, and a team that I really, really dislike. Adulthood, however, means I'm probably done with jerseys, hats, key-chains, and the like.  The loophole I have found is that tasteful and/or autographed memorabilia that can go into my office is probably ok.  Please continue to be mindful of my team allegiances, however (MLB: Yankees, Cubs, Royals; NFL: Chiefs, Bears; NHL: Flyers; NCAA: Mizzou; world soccer: Argentina; Argentine soccer: River Plate; La Liga: Barcelona; world rugby: Argentina; F-1: McClaren; world polo: Ellerstina; Uruguayan amateur rink hockey: Platense - any other sports or leagues, please confirm with me first).

Happy shopping!