Events in the news reminded me of an experience I had a few years back while renovating an old fixer upper in the countryside. The house had electricity, but it was a mess of cleaning, painting, and light carpentry at the time. Cell phone coverage was spotty and I didn’t even have a smart phone. … Continue reading The Curious Case of the Bench in the Night Time
A friend works in the pharmaceutical industry and described how a particular extremely profitable non-narcotic sleeping pill is made. A Japanese company developed the pill at their lab in Osaka. These are the high value jobs that the Japanese are keen to keep at home. The chemical components that are used to make the pills … Continue reading Just In Time
Picture Templeton the rat from Charlotte’s Web complete with the voice of Paul Lynde. That’s me. Irritating? Yes. Charming? Nooooo. Quite the opposite. Smart? Not so much. Industrious? Bone lazy. Impulse control? Zero. Like Templeton I’m amoral and omnivorous. But we have our niche. Put me in a conference room full of adults with official positions … Continue reading The Rodent’s View
I explored the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that runs for eighteen miles across the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. The Valley is a profoundly suburban city-within-a-city and home to 1.8 million people spread out over 260 square miles. Attempts to upgrade public transit by the central authorities in LA proper have … Continue reading Suburban. Comma. Transit.
My old friends Shirley and Gerry (now, sadly passed) went to the same university that I did, some decades before me. I was informed that right after World War II Rutgers was a low budget collection of make shift buildings scattered around various parts of New Jersey. Classes were held in an old razor blade … Continue reading A Century Long Experiment in Higher Education
For families with young children the choice of where to live is limited by the cost of housing in a “good” school district, the suspect quality of the public schools in more affordable locations, and/or the ability to pay for private schools. In recent years the option of home schooling has gained momentum as well. … Continue reading Hacking School
My family lived in this building when I was a kid in the 1970’s. This was the door to our old apartment. It’s in a nondescript part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. There are a million places just like this all over the Southland. These beige stucco boxes are the workhorses of … Continue reading Them that’s got shall have. Them that’s not shall lose.