Category Archives: friends and neighbors

Kids Make Art

Here we go again with the proud father routine. I can’t help being fascinated by the art that my kids create. It’s such a clear indicator of their development that I look in awe as their little drawings and paintings and sculptures become more mature and sophisticated as they get older. Somewhere along the way, they’ll probably stop creating visual art, just as 99 percent of current adults have done. But for now I’ll revel in these manifestations or their imaginations…

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When my former student (and current friend) Nicole Tieri sent out an email message a few days ago describing her concerns about a new documentary airing next month, I thought that her thoughts deserved wider circulation. Here is what she had to say…

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David LaGrand for Michigan State Senate

From what I can tell, it’s common practice among bloggers to apologize when their entries get less frequent. But an apology seems a little presumptuous to me. Do people really feel dejected or neglected when the blogging gets thin? Doubtful. So, excuse me while I skip the remorse and instead mention a couple things that have been occupying the time that I otherwise would have spent writing here…



Yesterday the neighbor boy two doors down turned 5, so his parents threw him a little birthday party–just a small, low-key gathering of friends and family to wish him well.
Ha! Really it was a total blowout, a superhero extravaganza. I must say that the things a few of us neighbors agreed to do for this party would be much too embarrassing for me to mention–if I had any shame left at all. But I don’t, so here’s a picture of three middle-aged Super Neighbors flying down the makeshift zip line across the backyard…


The Cutter of ‘The Cut’

The premiere episode of The Cut is airing tonight at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. It’s a “Project Runway” type of show—not that I’ve ever seen “Project Runway,” but that’s what I’ve read. Tommy Hilfiger puts 16 fashion designer wannabes through their paces to decide who will get a gig working for the master.

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Books in the Queue

What a bookish Christmas I’ve had! I received so many wonderful new books for my birthday and Christmas that I worry about how I’ll ever find the time to read them. Here they are, in no particular order, all of them linked to further descriptions on…


Return of the Signs

Our neighbors refuse to give up, even after seven of their signs have been stolen. I wrote about these Kerry supporters a couple weeks ago when all they had remaining on their yard was a single homemade sign decrying the thefts. Now they have five or six signs of various sizes, as well as a few flags and a “support our troops” poster in the front window…

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Conflict Lab Wins Apple Design Award

A good friend of mine, Michael VanHouten, just informed me that his tiny, family-run company won the 2004 Apple Design Award in the Best QuickTime Content for Education category. The company, Conflict Lab, creates multi-player negotation simulations for the educational … Continue reading 

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Art by Virginia Wieringa

I’ve just added a section to this site for Virginia Wieringa to showcase some of her artwork. The artist, also known as “Aunt Ginny,” has used watercolor paints, charcoal, and oils to create gorgeous nature scenes and intimate still lifes. … Continue reading 

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Scooter Girl Ends American Idol Bid

Our dear friend Nicole, aka Scooter Girl, was among the top 60 or so singers on American Idol, but, alas, she didn’t make it to the top 32. We were hoping that the judges might decide to bring her back … Continue reading