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.

Only in America

The French neighbor across the courtyard here makes her living as a tour guide – every few weeks she meets another gaggle of elderly French folks, piles them in a small bus, and then shows them Hollywood and Los Angeles. … Continue reading

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When Everyone Is Unhappy

There is going to be a hangover. The eight years of the Obama administration will be seen as an anomaly, an odd time before we woke up the next morning and found the world is just as awful as it … Continue reading

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The Fatalists

That last year of college was going to be odd. In the spring of 1968, so long ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated. Many cities exploded, and after the riots burned themselves out, in the summer, it was Bobby Kennedy … Continue reading

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Choose Your Narrative

The last trip to Paris was in 2001 – two weeks in early December, solo, quietly slipping into another culture. Then things got complicated. Folks in systems management never know who they’ll be working for the next week, or if … Continue reading

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Complications Arise

Things just got worse. That’s what the pessimist always says. Things just got better – lots of stuff that looks bad is really an opportunity for change, for good things to happen later, or even soon. Optimists say that. Cynics … Continue reading

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No Sufficient Second

John Boehner is gone, or as good as gone. November will find him back in Ohio, no longer Speaker of the House and no longer a congressman. He grinned when he resigned. He sang a bit of that Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Da song … Continue reading

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Jugglers and Comics

It’s odd to be exactly one year older than the Ed Sullivan Show. That premiered on CBS on Sunday, June 20, 1948, and that was every Sunday night in America until Sunday, June 6, 1971 – and then it was … Continue reading

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