Kudos to Mike and Gini

The Madison Capitol Times had a story today about my friends Mike and Gini Zirkel who have done some volunteering to help victims of Hurricane Katrina:


I first met Mike and Gini through my involvement with the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua. They're the sort of people who look for ways to help others. It's good to see it recognized.

Dead and Loving It

I'm not a fan of country music, but I saw a music video on Country Music Television today that caught my attention. Sung by Trace Adkins, it's titled "Arlington," and it is written from the point of view of a soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery:

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.

There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:
"We're proud of your son."

Congratulations, Walter

This weekend I was exercising at home with the TV on for company, and when I started flipping channels, all of a sudden the face appeared of Walter Kirn, one of my old Princeton classmates. He was on CSPAN talking with Brian Lamb about his life as a novelist and literary critic and his recent adventures blogging on Andrew Sullivan's website.

It turns out that Walter also has a new novel coming out this October, titled Mission to America. And, one of his previous novels, Thumbsucker, has just been made into a movie.

What's the "proper way to grieve"?

Jon Friedman, who writes for MarketWatch, posted some thoughts about Cindy Sheehan in his latest column that seem, well, stupid. They're the sort of remarks that I might critique on a blog post at the website of the Center for Media and Democracy if there were more of a connection to the Center's mission (exposing spin and propaganda), but instead I'll comment on them here.

Friedman seems to think that USA Today's reporter Judy Keen is devoting too much attention to the "Sheehan circus," so he interviewed Keen and peppered her with questions, asking for example whether Sheehan "had begun to enjoy the massive media attention" or whether "the media are distorting the Sheehan story out of all proportions."

John McEnroe quote

I've been trying to track down the exact wording of a quote by John McEnroe. The earliest and therefore arguably most accurate reference I've found is from 1993: "Is golf a sport? I thought in sports you had to at least run at some point." Source: Dan Cahill and Mark Gaffney, "Sox Rate Increase in WGN Viewership," Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 1993, p. 109.

Your life as a comic book

Your life as a comic book: "

Comic Life (Mac only) turns a series of photos into comic book format, complete with captions. The Flickr feed of the results is pretty cool."

(Via Joho the Blog.)

Russian propaganda poster


Originally uploaded by somakitty.

Another interesting image from Flickr.



Originally uploaded by froGGh.

Interesting photo I came across on http://www.flickr.com|Flickr.

Baby Shower

I am planning Amys baby shower. It will be held on January 29th at 2pm at moms house. We have invited nearly 100 people. I have never hosted a baby shower, so this will be quite interesting...

Julie's wedding

This summer Julie Andersen got married and asked me to take some photos at the wedding. I worked with Julie for several years in the 1990s. She was executive director of the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua, and I was the loan fund manager for its NICA Fund, a project that channels loans from socially responsible investors in the United States to support economic development projects in low-income Nicaraguan communities.

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