Izumi and the kids are away in Japan for a month so Tyler could attend the last few weeks of Japanese kindergarten and hopefully pick up some of the language – a bit of an experiment. Before he left he asked me why things get smaller when they move further away into the distance. Good question – I had to think about that one for a bit. My answer was that if they didn’t get smaller, they wouldn’t fit.

Any other ideas?

UPDATE: Mie put the question to Dr. Hal


Mad Ernie Fletcher


Kentucky Governer Ernie Fletcher was the source of widespread panic in the Capitol yesterday when the Governer’s Beech King Air 200 lost its transponder signal 13 miles away from the DC area airport. The air traffic controllers with the FAA knew about this but neglected to inform the folks that run air security for the Capitol who took the Governer’s plane for an incoming bogie.

Lawmakers, dignitaries and mourners preparing for Ronald Reagan’s funeral ceremony raced from the Capitol Wednesday after police feared an airplane was headed for the building and warned: “You have one minute to impact.”

Police in the Capitol had urged people running down staircases to run faster. An officer shouted at one photographer trying to look back through a camera, “You don’t have time to look back.”

“Incoming plane!” another police officer shouted at reporters asking what was going on.

Women, many wearing formal dress for the Rotunda ceremony, kicked off high-heeled shoes to enable them to run faster.

Don’t be suprised to here of reductions in Kentucky’s federal assistance.




Greetings for Nashville, Tennessee where I am writing to you from the Factiva booth while we wait for the sound crew to finish hooking up the A/V equipment for tomorrow. I’m here for the next few days for the annual gathering of the Special Librarian’s Association where we will show off our latest developments.

The conference is being held in the massive Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center which is more like a self-enclosed cruise ship than a resort. Many of the 2,000 rooms face inwards with balconies overlooking huge enclosed atriums, each with their own Southern theme. It’s very much like a Disneyland with climate controlled temperatures and constant lighting so you begin to forget what the weather is like outside.

I later went for a run out around the town (we’re about 20 minutes northwest of downtown) and got more a feel for what it’s like around here, basically strip malls until you get down near the Cumberland River which is a nice lazy river like the Deleware back home. Passed quite a few lots selling RV Mobile Homes with names like Pioneer and Intruder (only $136k), it’d be nice, just once, to see one of these called something less intrusive like, Whisper.

Update: I’ve posted photos from the trip.

Current Events

Ride of the Valkyries

I’m not normally a muscle bike type of person but the image of the new 1800cc Honda Valkyrie caught my eye. I think I feel a mid-life crisis coming on!


Memorial Day Parade


All the kids on the block entered as the “East Franklin Wheelers” in this year’s Memorial Day Parade. The usual suspects showed up, the couple on the bicycle built for two, the Pennington, Hopewell, and Titusville fire brigades, several troops of Brownies, Cub Scouts, tractors, classic cars, and the Delaware Valley PT Cruiser club.


Pig Roast


Yesterday, the Cirullo’s held their annual Pig Roast. They grew up in the area and the Pig Roast is an excuse to bring all their far-flung friends back together for a day long gathering interspersed with games of Quoits, a raffle drawing featuring “expensed” corporate giveaways [Merrill Lynch T-Shirt, Mettler Toledo swiss army knives] and many mugs of beer. More kids this year than last so the late-night crowd was only a few. I turned in early but we could hear the clanking of the Quoits on their pins late into the night . . . the sounds of Summer.




Thanks to Aunt Karen for the image.

They’re friggin’ everywhere in the neighboring town of Princeton and I can hear the din if I have the windows down during the drive home (on second thought, maybe I should keep the windows up). No sign of them in our small hamlet yet and the joke around town is that their too high-brow to be seen here.

At any rate, the re-appearence of Brood X, that has been lying dormant for the past 17 years is all the talk around time and the source of frequent humor.



Tyler’s Pre-K class gave an end of the year performance today. They’ve been practicing the words to their songs for the past few weeks. We caught on to the “suprise” when we heard Tyler singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and knew we never taught him such a song. I’ve got the whole thing on video if anyone wants to sit through 15 minutes of 5 year-olds warbling off key to Yankee Doodle and Little Rabbit Foo Foo but I think it’s something only a proud parent can love.

On a flyer the teachers gave out was a particularly funny list of responses to questions.

“What’s special about your Mom?”
Tyler…She always gives me more stuff than my sister.

“What’s special about your Dad?”
Tyler…He always hugs me


Drifting Away


The roar of the hot air jet was all that warned us to look up and catch Mr. Blackwell drifting up into the late-afternoon sky. . .



Tyler gets started

The weekly harvests have begun at our local organic farm, the Watershed, where we split a family share that allows us to share in the food that they grow there. Most of the crops are harvested for you and all we need to do is drive down the road to fill up a couple of grocer bags full of wonderfully fresh and pesticide-free veggies. It’s fun to go with the kids because each week there’s always something that’s available on a “pick your own” basis. In May, it’s strawberries to be followed soon by rasberries and, *yum* blackberries. This week too were snap peas which are so sweet you can eat them right off the vine!

Julia in the strawberry fields

Summer is truly here as our neighbors, the Trasks, have yet again graciously opened up their pool which is unofficially known as the, “East Franklin Swim Club.” After a morning of picking in the fields, a dip in the pool is always welcome.

A bit of Fame touched our block this weekend as we heard the good news that the Trask’s daughter, Emma, who had been busting her butt for the last year on a Michael Moore film project not only was able to attend the Cannes Film Festival but also that the film won this year’s Palm D’Or.

Not only did Fahrenheit 9/11 pull down the world’s top film prize, it received a 20-minute standing ovation (a record in the film festival’s history) and was only the second documentary to win the Palm D’Or in 50 years.

As you may know, the film’s original backers have pulled out which prompted all kinds of conspiracy chatter and probably only helped boost the film’s profile. Disney’s recent punch in earnings was due, in a large part, to their theme park business and the most successful Disney theme park is in Florida. Some say that Disney didn’t want to jeapordize their cozy relationship with the Governer of Florida, Jeb Bush (the President’s brother) by distributing a film so openly critical of the President.

Disney just can’t seem to call any of the right shots in their film division. First they piss of Steve Jobs and send him, Pixar, and the Shrek franchise off in search of their own distribution channel. Shrek 2 opened last week to a “record shattering $125 million” for through this weekend. Now it looks certain that Fahrenheit 9/11 will be a money-maker as well. I recall Moore’s first documentary, Roger & Me, was extremely profitable because production costs on a documentary are so reasonable. Way to go Emma!