Author Archives: Alan

About Alan

The editor is a former systems manager for a large California-based HMO, and a former senior systems manager for Northrop, Hughes-Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Perot Systems and other such organizations. One position was managing the financial and payroll systems for a large hospital chain. And somewhere in there was a two-year stint in Canada running the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive factory - in London, Ontario. That explains Canadian matters scattered through these pages. Otherwise, think large-scale HR, payroll, financial and manufacturing systems. A résumé is available if you wish. The editor has a graduate degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from Duke University where he was a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and taught English and music in upstate New York in the seventies, and then in the early eighties moved to California and left teaching. The editor currently resides in Hollywood California, a block north of the Sunset Strip.

Summer Ends in Silence

There is no Sunday evening column – out of town for the Labor Day ball games and picnics with the family a hundred miles south of Hollywood. There may be a Monday evening column, but that depends on the traffic … Continue reading

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Nothing Doing

The Vietnam War was raging and escalating rapidly and the war protests were beginning – the college kids, and then the clergy, and then “normal” people were taking to the streets – and in August, 1965, there were the Watts … Continue reading

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The Work in the Background

One of the advantages of being old – and not dead quite yet – is that you can talk about the good old days, when they were really good, if anyone will listen. Talk of the sixties can be tiresome, … Continue reading

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The Wolf at the Door

Straight out of graduate school and into seventh grade – that first teaching job was a shock. The private school was impressive – these were sharp kids – but no seventh grader likes English class. Seventh graders don’t really want … Continue reading

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Have It Your Way

Americans love freedom, or at least the idea of freedom, or the illusion of freedom, so it made sense, back in 1974, for Burger King to launch a major advertising campaign with a tag line that would stick in the … Continue reading

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No Experience Necessary

We learn from experience – touch a hot stove and you won’t touch a hot stove again, or cold one. One cannot be too careful. Or we learn from the experience of others – watch your friend seeing what will … Continue reading

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Echoes of Oslo

The fjords are rather fine, but Oslo isn’t Paris. Norway isn’t what they call a destination, probably because the weather is dismal, when the place isn’t locked in with ice and snow the other nine months of the year, and … Continue reading

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