Yearly Archives: 2005

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

A recent issue of PC Magazine noted that the organization Reporters Without Borders has released a “Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents.” The free handbook is intended to help those who want to get a message out, but face persecution if caught divulging unflattering information

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McSweeney’s Lists

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency is one of my favorite things to check out on the web every now and then for a little oddball humor. It’s a perfect site to visit in times like these, when I’m busy, busy, busy with work and family and side projects and various distractions. McSweeney’s is a tiny distraction that doesn’t take a lot of my time. I don’t really know anything about the site or the people who publish the lists, and I’m trying to keep it that way, because some things are better left unknown, and I want this distraction to remain tiny. I do like the lists very much. Two of my favorites are…

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Festival of Faith and Writing

Calvin College was a great school back in the late 1980s when I attended it, but it seems to have even more going for it now. Each year Ken Heffner and the Student Activities Office put together an extraordinary lineup of concerts, and the January Series is widely considered one of the best college lecture series in the country.

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Word of the Day Turns One

A year ago a new section of my website, the English Rules Word of the Day, was born. I started it after chatting with a couple friends at work about words and bemoaning the lack of inspiration in the words … Continue reading 

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Good Travel Sites

The timing on this entry couldn’t be dumber, since the major travel season just ended a couple weeks ago, but–who knows?–maybe some people are starting to plan their Thanksgiving and Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanzaa) vacations.
Here are a few websites that might make your travel planning a little easier–or maybe just a bit more fun…

Posted in miscellany | 4 Comments

Peter LaGrand – Falling Down in Place

One of my greatest joys in life is discovering new things about old friends. I made just such a discovery two weeks ago when Peter LaGrand came over for dinner with his new CD in hand.
When I first met Peter, I was a college student and he was a 10-year-old skaterat with long blonde hair covering his eyes. He taught me some inline-skating moves, and I taught him…well, I didn’t teach him anything.

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Personal Photographic Account of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

This photographic account of New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina swept through is quite staggering and more informative than most of what has appeared in the mainstream media…

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Technology has not been my friend this summer. In fact, it’s been downright nasty. All these little gadgets I own have been breaking, leaving me with the strong desire to ditch them all and set up camp in a cabin somewhere in the mountains of Montana…

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Budding Artist

Ever since Ben attended the neighborhood Art Camp run by Ms. “Superwoman” Peri, he has become addicted to drawing. His implement of choice is a set of washable markers, which is a huge relief to his parents, because Ben isn’t just drawing on paper. No, drawing on paper would be too sensible. Instead, he’s been creating designs on his legs, and his face, and the bedsheets, and the shades, and the carpet, and the walls–basically, anything that isn’t moving…

Posted in family | 4 Comments


I finished reading Marilynn Robinson’s novel Gilead over a month ago, the same day that I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Since then I’ve been on a hiatus from reading fiction, though I’m not sure why. Either Harry Potter cast a spell on me or the melancholy beauty of Gilead lulled me into a contented stupor. All I know is that I was on a fiction-reading binge for months, and it felt good. Now other responsbilities are squeezing me a bit. I’m not even managing to keep up with all the New Yorker issues that keep streaming in through my mail slot…

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