The Census Reminds Me of the Weirdest Things

When Sandra and I got a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau on Friday, it reminded me of a joke that my dad, a wonderful raconteur, told me many years ago. With the coronavirus and the political season combining to depress everyone’s mood, I thought it would be nice to lighten up my blog this […]

Money Laundering Might Help Keep You Safe From Coronavirus

Today I’m writing about a few measures my wife Sandra and I are taking to avoid the coronavirus and the potentially deadly disease it causes (COVID-19). A couple of days ago we sat down over morning coffee and figured out a few things we could do to minimize our risk, since we’re both in our […]

Bernie’s ‘Woke’ Fans Need Awakening

Mayor Bernie Sanders in Yaroslavl, USSR, in 1988 Now that Super Tuesday is behind us, voters in the upcoming Democratic Party primaries will have to choose between the two remaining viable candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. In this post I’d like to make a small contribution to the effort to keep the nomination out […]

Mattress Ads and Restless Nights

This is me in traditional Indian garb. The garment tied around my waist, a dhoti, is almost identical to the lunghi (sarong) about which please see below …. Judging by the number of ads for mattresses and sleep medications shown on our TV screens every evening, you could be forgiven for wondering if the country’s current ill […]

It’s a Turkey

Turkey With Thanksgiving just over the horizon, you can almost taste the turkey. Thanks to my having lived and worked in several countries in the first part of my career, I have a bit of personal history with the word for that bird. Peru It began in 1971 in Brazil. On my first Thanksgiving there […]

Safe, Home, Warm and Grateful

Three of the five thousand to whom we are grateful! (Courtesy: Facebook) Sandra and I are back home — safe, warm and grateful. For anyone reading this who may not know what we’re grateful for, it’s this: Despite what looked for a time like pretty unfavorable odds, Northern California’s Kincade Fire did NOT burn our […]

“Diplomatic” letters

Trump’s letter to Erdogan Among the flotsam and jetsam washed up on my computer screen by this week’s deluge1 of Trump-related news was a letter that the U.S. president wrote to his counterpart in Turkey, the bloody-minded, bloody-handed Recep Tayyip Erdogan.2 Much-criticized not only for its threatening content but also for its distinctly unpresidential tone […]

Want to Avoid Real Estate Agent Commissions? Not a Good Idea!

Over the years, I’ve met a number of people who, when they want to sell their home, try to do it without the help of a real estate agent. From personal experience, I’ve learned that this is not such a great idea. Good agents are worth every penny of the commissions they earn. Here’s how […]

What I Learned in Pennsylvania About Saving Hawaii’s Whales

World’s first oil well, drilled in 1859 by Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania Reflecting on my visit to Pennsylvania1 last month, I had an epiphany — that there is a special connection (though of course not a geographical one) between the Keystone State2 and the Aloha State. Let me begin with the conclusion I’ve reached about the […]

Earning a Ph.D.

Here I am with my Corcel, a Brazilian-made Ford, relaxing in Brasilia in 1972 or thereabouts. I got my bachelor’s degree in Connecticut and my master’s in Massachusetts, but I had to cross the equator and fly all the way to Brazil for my Ph.D. I hasten to add that this doctorate was not in […]