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Opinions Are All My Own

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    You may be new to this event, or perhaps you’ve supported our efforts in past years. For seven years my family and more than a dozen of our friends have volunteered to help stage a holiday event for families of Head Start children. This year we’re serving more children than ever before … more than […]

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    Yesterday I posted this photo on Facebook, with the cryptic pronouncement that I wouldn’t stop working until 1,600 flannel rectangles were sewn together. I started in the morning, and didn’t stop until 10:30 last night. My friend Michele asked: “What will the children do with the fabric rectangles?” Good question — and a fascinating answer. My rectangles and […]

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    I’m excited to report that for the first time, we’re eliminating our drawing for food baskets … because we’ve giving one to every family who attends! In the past, I’ve felt like I was watching an episode of Oprah when we would draw the names for the dozen or so people who received a gift […]

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    Today is a work day for me, so I’ll be brief. Last night was the 2014 Holiday Head Start Event, and it was bigger and better than ever. Not only did every single family that attended go home with a shopping bag brimming with food, but the dinner we served last night was to the […]

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    In some ways I had it easy, because during the flurry of activity that was the 2014 Head Start Holiday event, I was behind one of two color printers that were producing the family photos. I was well away from the fray — on the other side of the school building from the hectic dinner service, […]

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    Unappealing qualities: We all have them. I have more than my share. Among mine is a face that, let’s be real, only a mother could love. (Its stock consequently plummeted four years ago with the the passing of its biggest fan.) Another is my embrace of the discipline of economics. Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle had […]

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    The headline is just one of the wonderful lines from this lovely song by the idiosyncratic Greg Brown. “You can taste a little of the summer. My grandma put it all in jars.”

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    I recently found this poem, by Victorian poet Gerald Manly Hopkins. The bucolic imagery somehow seems appropriate for early Spring. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do: Pied Beauty Glory be to God for dappled things – For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout […]

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    When I was in the sixth grade, I got my hands on small fragments of a one-way mirror, and, following descriptions I read about in the encyclopedia set we had in our basement, I took other components (a glass rod, a wooden box and a light source), and built a working laser. No, it didn’t […]

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    The last three lines of this are a bit of a mantra for me, something I try hard to ask myself when I get too hung up on details and nonsense. The Summer Day by Mary Oliver Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, […]

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    You may have just seen these photos posted on the Holiday Head Start site. As I write this, it is an extremely chilly November night with winds (if you’ll pardon the melodrama) literally howling outside the window. But sharing these with you makes me feel a little warmer, and a great deal better … These photos […]

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    Today’s headlines included news that Wisconsin’s food stamps rules would become tighter, just in time for the holidays. But I was more heartened by this news a groundswell of support for Give Tuesday: Let’s take note: today is #GivingTuesday, the fourth anniversary of a day that offers a glimpse of the world beyond the pathological […]

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    Now that the dust has settled on the event (or perhaps that’s glitter?) I am thrilled to tell our wonderful donors what they helped support. Actually, I’m going to let Sherry, our co-leader along with her daughter Shannon, tell the story (I could not be there). I edited her email to spare you the inside […]

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  • 05/30/16--06:20: The Art of Authorship
  • I enjoy writing. And once every three months or so, like a familiar spasm that arrives out of the blue, I think about writing a book. A real book. The book. It’s the one I’ve been planning and constructing — and occasionally drafting — for the last seven years. If I complete it, it will be […]

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    It’s been a tough Presidential election season to get through. Especially if you’re like me, and you started following the proceedings early. I watched Biden decide not to run. And I witnessed sixteen GOP candidates get picked off, by one-by-one, by Trump, and in the process, watched the entire process debased to a level I … Continue reading Podcasts that helped me survive Election 2016

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    How do I love thee, podcasts? Let me count the ways. I’ve come up with five, right off the top of my head. They span comedy, news and current events, design, music and even history. Why Now? #TryPod This month there is a push among podcasters I enjoy to encourage our friends to try a podcast, … Continue reading How do I love thee, podcasts?

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  • 03/21/17--07:51: On Progress and Pronouns
  • As we strive to better understand the needs of previously voiceless groups ... in our workplaces, our homes and social settings, keep in mind that it can be a bumpy ride, linguistically speaking.

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    A look a the business blog of Jeff Larche, ten years ago.

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    I was skeptical. The hype surrounding Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation seemed too good to be believed. But once I bought the original cast recording, I was convinced. And hopelessly obsessed. This Friday I saw the Chicago production of Hamilton for the second time, and unlike most other entertainments, this one was even better the second … Continue reading Confessions of a Hamilton Fanboy

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    Dear FedEx: I’ve given you folks many opportunities this week to delight me, or at least not infuriate me. You blew every one of them. And Dear FedEx customer (who is reading this now): Is what I am about to recount typical for this company? Please leave your comments below or on my Facebook profile. … Continue reading FedEx won’t give me my new phone

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