Monday, August 30, 2010


We hosted a mini-reunion for my pals from Cornell, including the Chair of Interpol's environmental crime committee, a woodworking artist specializing in hand tooled Japanese shoji, and the next ambassador to Pakistan. We hit the high spots--campus, the Farmers' Market, Taughannock, the Rongo. . . . Much food, drink, and cameraderie.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trip to Ohio

Zac Brown Concert, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Browns preseason game--all the highlights.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Updated Mechanics Rules

Thanks to DE for sending along the Chicago Manual's updated rules. US, not U.S., a single rule for ellipses, capped Internet but lowercased website, etc., etc. Only two of them irk me--breaking URLs before the slash rather than after, and using apostrophe and s after Xerxes to show possession. Is nothing sacred?

I Told You So

When this was proposed, I wrote quickly to our local congressional rep, telling him all the reasons it was a bad idea that wouldn't work. You can't give schools federal funds in August and tell them to retain teachers they laid off in June. Nor can you expect them to hire new teachers with one-time money. Who's for it? The unions. Does it make any sense at all? None. Are we stuck with it now? Looks like it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reading List

I was totally inclined to hate it--a historic novel in black-voice by a young white Southerner? But I gave up, because it's really pretty good.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Nice Story

Just a bit of good news from our school at today's BOE meeting--a program known as WEB, or the "weekend backpack" program, founded by the elementary school social worker along with folks from the Kitchen Cupboard, sent food home every Friday in 24 elementary students' backpacks last year--2 proteins, 2 grains, 2 dairy products, and 2 veg/fruits. Thanks to help from Sertoma, Dryden churches, and a variety of other local organizations (for example, the Girl Scouts help pack the food), WEB was able to continue this over the summer and will serve 36 children next year. They will also be able to supply children with toothbrushes and toothpaste every 3 months. The collaboration among Dryden agencies and organizations is pretty remarkable, and the service feeds kids for whom free school breakfast and lunch five days a week are otherwise the only regular meals they get.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Required Reading

The most important point Krugman makes in his demolishing of Congressman Ryan's fiscal plan is that Americans can't do math, so they accept anything that sounds good.
One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Religion and Politics

Certain American churches were once essential advocates of civil rights here and abroad. It's nice to see that something good has come out of the AZ immigration flap--churches aren't just engaged in ugly fire and brimstone sermonizing but are actively supporting their people in this ongoing struggle.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bethel Woods

This part of the Catskills is just the most bizarre part of NY--equal parts cheesy Woodstock nostalgia and ancient Orthodox bungalow colonies, now fallen into ghetto disrepair but still housing hundreds upon hundreds of the faithful up from Brooklyn, all of whom were strolling the roads of White Lake and environs on this Sabbath afternoon and looking for all the world like the Mennonites of Dundee, minus the horses. We went to visit the Woodstock Museum, which is wonderful, and to hear a concert at the open-air venue, which, on this most beautiful evening, was stunning. About 2.5 hours up and 2.5 back.