Tummy Tickler Bridge

The gently arched Hermitage Bridge carrying the Neva River Embankment roadway across the mouth of the Zimnaya Kanavka. In the background, the pedestrian bridge linking the Hermitage Museum (right) to the Hermitage Theater. A few days ago something — I’ve already forgotten what — reminded me of one of the small pleasures of life I […]

April Fools? They’ve Gotta Be Joking!

Public opinion on reparations A few days ago, with April Fools’ Day coming right up, I spotted a couple of news items I briefly thought might be nothing more than a crazy prank. If only! The items I saw were reports on discussions within the nine-member California Reparations Task Force — appointed to “study and […]

Feeling Grateful

If you’re like me, every so often you’ll find a nice graphic image in your Facebook feed, listing reasons why people like you and me should feel grateful: Because we have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs Because our children have enough to eat Because we fall asleep in a warm […]

Staying in Touch: The Other Side of Networking

The Dutra Group’s work at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, discussed below Not long before last Halloween, I got a message from someone I’d collaborated with several years ago. She had long since left the firm she’d been at when we first worked together, but — as is the case with most people I get to […]

Birth of a Book

Last Monday, November 1, 2021, was a big day for an old friend, Dr. Richard Kelley. I say “old” not just because he’ll soon be celebrating his 88th birthday, but also because I’ve had the pleasure of working with him now for nearly 20 years.1 Monday was big because it’s when his just-published book — […]

Matzah, a Leningrad Perspective

Matzah In the days leading up to the beginning of Passover1 last night, I’ve seen several articles on the web about matzah,2 cracker-like sheets of unleavened bread. That was all the food the Israelites (whom today we call the Jews) were able to take with them as Moses led them to freedom following generations of slavery […]

Dog Food

Zebee Not long ago I spotted something funny online about the attributes — from a female viewpoint — of a perfect guy. One of them was a good memory.1 I’ve forgotten the rest. OK, just kidding. But only partly. Actually, while I don’t remember them all, one of those “great guy” attributes was that he’d […]

Heroism

Bon voyage! (Courtesy Matson Navigation Company) A few days ago I spotted a funny story on Facebook that reminded me of something a very brave man, Aba Taratuta, told me back in 1978 or thereabouts, when I was on the staff of the U.S. consulate-general in Leningrad (today again known by its original name, St. […]

Zooming in to a Special Celebration

Coach Henry Harutunian Yesterday, at long last, about 160 alumni of Yale University’s fencing teams Zoomed together to honor my friend — our friend — Henry Harutunian, who had served as Yale’s fencing coach for nearly half a century. The celebration had originally been scheduled to take place in person in New York City on […]

Update on the Wildfire Near Our Home

Dry lightning over the Golden Gate Over the past several days, Sandra and I have been hearing from friends and extended family asking if we’re OK amid the wildfires currently burning all over California, and especially up here in Sonoma County Wine Country. YES. So far we’re OK. Thank you all very much for your […]