Douglas Whaley. Law professor, gay rights advocate, atheist, heart transplant recipient, actor, director, novelist, playwright, bridge player, husband, father, cat owner, storyteller. Much humor and, since the writer is a teacher, advice on many topics.
My Blog Hits 500,000 Views!
In the fall of 2009 I went from clearly dying of heart
disease (atrial fibrillation) to near perfect health. The reason for this dramatic shift was the
heart transplant I received on Monday, November 23, 2009, just days before
Thanksgiving, an event I’ve written much about (see “Related Posts” below).
It is a startling change to go from planning one’s death to
planning one’s life, and as part of that process I hit on the idea of starting
a blog. My joke at the time was that
that beginning a blog is “required by law whenever one experiences a life-altering event.” Since I’m a lawyer some
people thought I was serious.
My blog’s first pitiful post was dated Thursday, December 17th
of that year and was quite short. It did,
however, contain this pithy comment: “The whole experience has been like
From the very beginning I was determined not to make my blog
posts full of idle chitchat about my day or the meals I ate, etc. Instead they quickly evolved into mini-essays
on many topics, reflecting not only the incidents and interests of my life
(some funny and others terrifying), but my philosophies, views on politics or
sports, or, since I’ve been a teacher all my adult life, instructions on
everything from how to write a “payment in full check” to “how to play craps
Las Vegas style.” My years as a gay
activist fueled many posts on that topic and on how people should deal with
homosexuals, and my more recent activities in the atheist community plus the
writing of my atheist thriller (“Imaginary Friend”) led to lectures on religion and nonreligion.
Finally, my retirement years have allowed me to go back to the theater,
and since 2004, when I left full-time teaching at the Moritz College of Law at
The Ohio State University, I’ve been in over 20 shows, either acting or
directing. The photo below was taken
just recently outside Little Theatre Off Broadway in Grove City, a suburb of
Columbus, where I'm appearing with my husband, David Vargo, in “A Funny Thing
Happened on the Way to the Forum.” As
usual, he steals the show when the plot forces his character, a slave named Hysterium
into drag, and my character, Senex, a dirty old man, chases him around the
I was very pleased that my blog, though starting small,
picked up a following, and through the years I’ve written posts celebrating
various anniversaries and explaining which posts are the most popular (sexual
ones usually, and the ones helping people out of legal difficulties) and determining who
appears to constitute my readership. The
blog has been visited by people living in 202 countries, a fact that floors me. Through both comments appended to the various
posts and emails, I’ve been able to correspond with strangers all over the
world, an amazing experience showing that in the 21st century we are
all living very closely together indeed.
Many have been pleased that an explanation of legal issues
(foreclosure on their home or questions about disputes) has helped them work
their way through some legal mess. The
greatest thrill comes from seeing that someone living in small town in America
or a country that I only vaguely recognize, has spent considerable time on the
blog reading posts having to do with “How To Tell If You Are Gay,” “How Many
Gays Are There In the World,” “How To Come Out,” and “How To Deal With
Homophobia.” I picture some young gay or
lesbian teen, terrified but determined, trying to find guidance in a situation
that may well be very dangerous. One
reader wrote me that his father had announced he would kill him if he found out
his son was gay, and asked me what I’d do in his shoes. He had less than a year left to live at home,
and I advised him to be very careful not to let his father learn the truth
until he was safely away, and—in any event—to have an escape plan already
mapped out if trouble arose suddenly.
[Note misspelling of "faggot"]
Just as April of this year ended and May began this blog reached
a new record: 500,000 pageviews. A “pageview”
occurs when a visitor to the blog first logs on and sees a screen that contains
a “page,” which can be scanned down to reveal between three and four blog posts;
if the visitor moves on to another “page” another “pageview” occurs. Most visitors read just one post (hence one “pageview”),
but many do delve deeper into the blog and some become heavy readers. I can’t tell who is reading the blog, but I
can tell if the same IP address returns again and again, and when that reader
switches from page to page. On rare
occasions a reader, either from admiration or intense disgust, has visited
every page of the blog—this has been the case not only with visitors from the various
United States, but also ones from the U.K., Tunisia, Australia, Korea, and
Brunei Darussalam (a country on the island of Borneo), among others.
In the beginning I was able to track the number of visitors
to my blog, but when the number exceeded 50,000 it became too expense to check
on this, and I am limited to statistics for the last 50,000 visitors. However, from various sources it is possible
to say with some certainty that the number of visitors is roughly half the
number of pageviews, so that would make it a quarter of a million people to
Many thanks to all of you who have visited my blog. It has been very rewarding to write these
posts, and I hope they have been worth reading.
What a true pleasure for me at the end of every evening to open up my
blog and to realize that it’s been read that very day all over the world! To track the readers on the day you’re
looking at this post, click on “View My Stats” near the top left of each page
(just under “StatCounter”), and then wait until a new page loads. It will display some statistics from the day; from the column on left click on “Recent Visitor Activity.” That will lead to a complete breakdown of all
the visitors to the blog for the past week and more.
Since I graduated from law school in 1968 I've always had some sort of legal practice which varied from extensive in the early years, to these days when I'm retired and mostly just doing consulting work for a hefty fee.In this period I've written a lot of letters threatening legal action on behalf of my client (or, on the rare occasion, myself—see Related Posts below).In the classroom I've passed on my advice on how to create an effective letter, and now I offer it to you, blog reader.
A letter threatening legal action almost always discombobulates a recipient who is not him/herself routinely involved in legal actions.I tell my law students that in their coming practices they will often receive such letters (or nowadays even emails), and they will calmly evaluate what to do about them depending on the legal issues involved and the wisdom of litigating them.But the non-legal recipient of such a letter is in a very differen…
Having a dispute with a creditor? One way to win it (and fast) is to send that creditor a "payment in full" check [hereafter "PIFC"] and end it things in your favor. How does this bit of legal magic work? Read on.
It's always been the law that if you and I have an existing contract, either one of us can propose a modification to that contract, and if we both agree, the contract changes accordingly. There are technical names for this. Say, for instance, that I owe you an undisputed amount of $500. I send you an email and ask if you would take my horse Dobbins is settlement of the debt, and you reply in the affirmative. My offer of something different than what was originally owed (the horse for the money) is called the offer of an "accord." Your agreement to take Dobbins is the "satisfaction." Thus an "accord and satisfaction" in our law is nothing more than a fancy name for a modification agreement. I no longer owe you $500; I owe…
For the last few years I have been crossing the country giving lectures on what I now call the "Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosures," which is that such foreclosures cannot proceed without production of the original promissory note signed at the closing. A symposium at Western State University Law School last year at which I gave the keynote address turned into a law review article on point, and that law review article is reprinted below in full. The correct citation for the printed version is 39 W. St. U. L. Rev. 313 (2012). As subsequent developments occur I will add them in red to the original article below. Any corrections or suggestions may be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mortgage Foreclosures, Promissory
Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code By Douglas J. Whaley*
Introduction As is true
of many things in life the Uniform Commercial Code’s statutes concerning the