I visit the Boston area frequently. On my most recent visit I became aware that The Boston Globe was planning to switch its home-delivery vendor, and that the switch would take place beginning Monday, Dec. 28. The Globe sent a letter to all subscribers alerting them to the switch, and providing a new toll-free customer-service number and a new home-delivery URL. So far, so good (although everyone with whom I’ve had occasion to discuss this has questioned why the excellent delivery service they had been getting needed a change at all). Continue Reading »

Singing Lessons

UPDATE: The Choral Arts Society of Washington has posted a wonderful, heartwarming video of some of Norman Scribner’s finest moments, illustrating all the things I’ve tried to say below. Enjoy!

I’m a choral singer.

I’m passably good at it — not the best, but I hold my own. For me, it’s recreation; stress removal; joy. For many years I sang with a storied New York-based chorus that presented its concerts in Carnegie Hall, and I swore I would never leave the New York area because I thought there was no other experience in the world like singing a great concert to a sold-out house in Carnegie Hall.

Turns out I was wrong. Continue Reading »

This morning I followed a link from a tweet to an op-ed piece on a newspaper’s website, and was greeted with a demand to register or log in. It’s a newspaper in a state in which I don’t live, and whose site I don’t have a regular reason to visit. (I’m not going to out them, since this was far from a unique experience.) My interpretation of its demand? “You’re not welcome here yet.” Continue Reading »

Updated below with a response on Twitter to this post.

I’ve had a couple of lively Twitter exchanges lately with people who think differently than I do, in particular about the Affordable Care Act. Typically they start with me calling BS on some sweeping statement that gets made with no backup, they continue with both of us arguing our positions, and they end with the other person wishing me a “blessed day” and terminating the conversation, neither of us having convinced the other. After the most recent one, I decided I’d like to try to have the conversation in more than 140 characters. Continue Reading »

Note: I know. It’s been a while since any new content was posted here. This post represents an effort to be more purposeful about blogging regularly. No promises, but feel free to nudge.

This week The New York Times posted an obituary of a rocket scientist named Yvonne Brill. The original version, since revised, led with her cooking skills, mentioned her commitment to parenting, and then got into her professional achievements. The above-linked version, in response to substantial outrage about how no male rocket scientist’s obit would carry a similar lede, has substituted her rocket-scientist status for the original reference to Stroganoff.
Continue Reading »

Flemington Borough is an interesting place. Flemington is the county seat for Hunterdon County, and is famous for lots of things, among them the Lindbergh kidnapping trial, which until this year was re-enacted every year, and its outlet shopping center. Interestingly, those two things have had a direct effect on the health of its Main Street. Continue Reading »

Phantom Election

Tuesday is election day, but you’d never know it around here. No campaign signs, no mailers, no robo-calling, no endorsements in my local paper, nothing. Not even redistricting has managed to generate any activity in most districts. Continue Reading »

Updated below.

I’m going to call out my local newspaper in this post for being completely inadequate to the task of providing critical information to its community in a crisis. I know people there, and they’re not going to be happy with me, and I apologize in advance for that because most of them are not the problem. But there is a problem, and, as Mike Benard from Kodak likes to say, it’s time to put the dead fish on the table. Continue Reading »

The First Energy website on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 3

So, as anyone who’s turned on a news show in the last week has undoubtedly heard, we had a little snow here last weekend. (To recap for those who don’t know: October snowstorm hit Oct. 29: very unusual, leaves still on the trees thanks to a very wet summer, weight of snow took trees and branches down all over northern New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, central Massachusetts and New Hampshire.) And yes, my house has been without power since last Saturday evening — five days and counting, at this point. For those keeping score at home, that’s longer by a full day than the power outage following Hurricane Irene. Continue Reading »

Post Office 2.0

Update: Here’s an excellent long story from the Washington Informer about how the closing of a post office would affect one neighborhood in Washington, D.C., including some discussion of the “village post office” concept and why the postal workers’ union thinks that won’t work. Continue Reading »