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Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Elder Statesman’s Lie

Wed, 25 Aug 2010, 04:13 PM (-06:00)

Former Senator and elder statesman Alan Simpson recently ignited a firestorm when he sent an insulting email regarding Social Security to Ashely Carson, Executive Director of the Older Women’s League, an organization that advocates on behalf of older women. The headlines have included his accusation that America has become a “milk cow with 310 million […]


Mon, 23 Aug 2010, 09:01 PM (-06:00)

“That’ll be $3.46,” the girl behind the counter said. I pulled out a ten and then said, “Wait, I’ve got some change.” I looked at the coins in my hand: just a bunch of quarters and pennies. “Well, at least here’s the penny,” I said, and handed her $10.01. She didn’t flinch, which was a […]

Summer’s End: Flying Back to School

Mon, 23 Aug 2010, 07:54 AM (-06:00)

He had an early flight. We left the house before the sun came up, and the three of us (Trudy, his mom and I) drove Ben to the airport to go back to school. It was wonderful to have him back in town for the summer, of course: nice to eat eggs around the table […]

Ramadan Sky

Fri, 13 Aug 2010, 10:17 PM (-06:00)

We’ve been watching the sky lately, gazing into the night with our eyes angled upward. It’s been a pretty good show. Venus shining brightly in the western sky just after the sun goes down. Saturn and Mars in conjunction above her to the right and left, respectively. And for a while even Mercury lower on […]

Waiting for a Train

Thu, 12 Aug 2010, 06:39 PM (-06:00)

Soon after we sat down to wait for the next subway train, a woman and her young son walked up and sat near us. I didn’t notice them at first, but then the boy erupted in an exclamation of unconstrained glee. “I’ve never ridden a train before!” A few seconds later, he repeated himself, this […]

Got a Map?

Thu, 12 Aug 2010, 03:10 PM (-06:00)

We had just ordered breakfast at the Euro-bistro on the corner near the hotel, and we were trying to figure out how to get down to Vieux Montréal. A family sitting next to us suggested that we take a look at their map of the bus and metro system. It was the #129 bus that we wanted, […]

They Can Just Tell

Wed, 11 Aug 2010, 09:19 PM (-06:00)

It was kind of like when I see a little kid from India or Pakistan. We pass each other, and they look up at me. I mean, they stare at me hard with a look of recognition in their eyes, turning to look back at me when we pass. Even Trudy can see it: they […]

Jury Duty

Wed, 11 Aug 2010, 11:33 AM (-06:00)

1. Empaneling I’ve been called for jury duty and am sitting in the second row of the district courtroom. I am candidate #18. The lawyers are asking questions, trying to figure out which of us to nix. Candidate #2 raises his hand at virtually every question. He’s making stuff up, sometimes saying he’d be biased […]

Dinner and Fire in Montreal

Sun, 8 Aug 2010, 09:51 PM (-06:00)

We checked into our hotel rooms in Montreal and promptly took a nap. But just what were we going to do for the rest of the day? A bit of googling provided an answer which I proposed to Trudy and Khadija and Dad: dinner followed by fire. 1. Dinner When in Montreal it seemed right to […]

Maple Leaf Wrapped Around the Flagpole

Sun, 8 Aug 2010, 04:25 AM (-06:00)

Blue sky. Warm breezes. Sunny days. Just couldn’t stop taking pictures of the Canadian flag.