Archive for March, 2009

Born Too Late

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

This afternoon I was reading a New York Times book review of A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and their Remarkable Families by Michael Holyrod. These were major theater folks in the 19th century. Irving is described as having been an innovator since he “introduced numbered seats, free programs […]

Civil War Reading

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I just finished reading James M. McPherson’s Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam. The book provides a summary of the Civil War up to that battle, putting in context, then the battle itself and its aftermath. Antietam is arguably the most important battle of the Civil War: It was the bloodiest single day of the war, with […]

Banking in China, Historical Context

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Today the New York Times had an article about Pingyao, a city that had been a center of Chinese banking in the 19th century. Pingyao, one of China’s best-preserved medieval towns, once had 22 banks, but this banking hub collapsed before the Communist Revolution in 1949. The banks had been well run, but they did […]


Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

For some years now, I have been saying to myself that I am finally ready for a college education. Not that I didn’t get one, decades ago, but now I am in the position where I could truly benefit from one. That is, in the sense that I think that I finally know enough that […]


Monday, March 16th, 2009

On a recent trip I read the book Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan. The “city” refers to New York City, and Sullivan has written a fascinating book about the things he learned, and the people he met, while studying rats for a year. This […]

Women’s NCAA Hockey

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

This afternoon I was over at the University of Minnesota to watch an NCAA quarterfinal match between the Gophers and Boston College, with the winner to advance to the Frozen Four. There were a lot of Boston College fans there, not a majority, but quite a few. One BC guy even brought his coronet, which […]

Exotic Cars

Friday, March 13th, 2009

When I was recently in La Jolla, one of the guys we know there suggested we take a trip to a car dealership to see some high end automobiles. I thought he was suggesting we go down to the dealership that carries Ferrari and Maseratis. I was mistaken, as Jack was suggesting we go to […]


Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Pat is spending the month of March in San Diego, and I was out there for the first 10 days. The place we stay is right across the street from the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, which hosted a tennis tournament, the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships, while I was there. The tournament is […]


Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This morning’s Star Tribune had an article about the just completed Olympic curling trials held in Colorado. The fact that the local paper had an article means that local folks did well. Half of the women’s team and three-fourths of the men’s team are from Minnesota. The article listed, for each team, the name, hometown […]