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.

Freaky Friday

It was another freaky Friday. No, not the 2003 movie where Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis are the daughter and mother whose bodies somehow get switched, which seems to have something to do with a mysterious fortune cookie – … Continue reading

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From the Inside Out

There’s the City of Brotherly Love in Pennsylvania, and then there’s Philadelphia, Mississippi: Philadelphia in June 1964 was the scene of the murders of activists James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi; Andrew Goodman, a 20-year-old Jewish anthropology … Continue reading

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The Dog Catches the Car

The dog chases the car, but what will the dog do if the dog catches the car? That’s the joke. The dog has no idea. The dog has a tiny brain. The dog simply chases the car, because it’s great … Continue reading

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High Anxiety

Mel Brooks has made a lot of funny movies but High Anxiety isn’t one of them. Being constantly on edge, even when played for laughs, just isn’t funny. It’s painful, and it’s painful to watch. Even Woody Allen’s ironic self-depreciating … Continue reading

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At the Pizza Shop

A lot of fake news is going around, and some of it is fun, like all the stories about Donald Trump considering the CEO of ExxonMobil for secretary of state – perhaps because, even if he knows nothing about all … Continue reading

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No Gold Watch

There are some cultural references that don’t work anymore – the scene in some sentimental old black-and-white movie – the retirement party. The beaming boss presents the pleasant old fellow, retiring after a lifetime of good work in the company … Continue reading

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Broken China

Henry Kissinger once described diplomacy as “purposeful ambiguity” – don’t say too much, don’t say too little. Let the opposing party think that things are going their way, but also let your allies know you’re not selling them out – … Continue reading

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