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Friday, April 11, 2003

Art and Religion in the Dia Generation
Michael: Did you see the story in the New York Times Magazine of April 6 on “The Dia Generation”? (You can read it here.) Not only does it contain some good gossip about the peerless egotism of individual artists (we get to hear Donald Judd fulminating about how stupid he had been to ever trust Heiner Friedrich, Dia’s founder, after receiving $5 million in grants and a monthly stipend of $17,500 from the foundation), but it also highlights the religious dimension of Minimalism, a topic I hadn’t considered much before. If the impression given by the article is correct, Mr. Friedrich (who conceived Dia along with his heiress wife, Philippa de Menil) is a prototypical Romantic: …born in Germany in 1938, [Friedrich] liked to describe how seeing the destruction during the Nazi years inspired him to want to create things that would last forever. One recent morning, at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo, he told me that ''living in the countryside after the war in purest relation to nature, in great peace, made a huge impression on me -- seeing the manifestation of the divine.'' Bespectacled, dressed in a black suit and black shirt, a large, sturdy man with a lined face, Friedrich today looks more forbidding than he is. He is a dreamer, prone to verbal flights of near-spiritual reverie. In a Goethe-like fashion, Friedrich (whose Christian name really should have been Caspar David) got the inspiration for Dia from trips he made to Italy: Giotto's Arena Chapel in Padua ''became for me the true insight for the unfolding and development of Dia.'' The chapel was the work of a single artist: a singular site, complex, revolutionary, preserved in perpetuity, a pilgrimage destination both cultural and spiritual. Dia’s first big project was Walter De Maria's ''Lightning Field'': 400 stainless-steel poles, up to 20 feet tall, arranged over nearly a square mile in New Mexico. Interestingly, if you wanted to visit the site, you were required to spend 24 hours in a cabin onsite. Calling Down the Fires of Heaven: W. De Maria, Lightning Field, 1971-77 [Despite being built at a cost of roughly $5 million in 2003 dollars)]…[w]hat was incalculable…was its artistic value. The work required a journey, a pilgrimage, the sacrifice and effort being part of the philosophy of immersion in the art. There was something manipulative, even prescriptive, about that idea, but also something deeply liberating about the experience. While I am tempted to scoff about how liberating such an experience would be—it sounds as if it would feel more like Stockholm syndrome than liberation—when I think back to the 1970s I realize how welcome that very rigor must have been to eager art pilgrim-flagellants. America in the Vietnam/Watergate/disco era had suffered a terrible wound to its spiritual self-image, and organized religion lacked the conviction and self-confidence to provide any relief. The public turned to art with religious themes like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” (a phenomenon best understood not as cinema but as... posted by Friedrich at April 11, 2003 | perma-link | (7) comments

Michael Polanyi
Friedrich -- Thinking about the "tacit dimension" Do you still read much philosophy? I do, though in spasms. But I've come to realize I'm not a true philosophy person, enjoyable as I can find it. Real philosophy people engage with the ideas deeply, deeply. They seem to feel that by doing so they’re really getting somewhere, and they relish the fun of quarreling over each split hair. Me? I’m happy enough with a solid general impression of what’s up ideawise. What I get taken by tends to be either a philosopher’s literary qualities (Schopenhauer; Kierkegaard), or his usefulness (Aristotle, Hume). Call me superficial. Recently I've been thumbing through some of the work of the Hungarian chemist and philsopher of science Michael Polanyi, who I first read some years ago. I like him still. He's one of the useful ones, and I think you'd get a kick out of his writing and thinking -- he's likely to be of interest to anyone who's ever flipped for Popper, Gombrich, Hayek, or Oakeshott. What he's best known for is his idea that we have different ways of knowing. One way depends on explicit training and conscious skill; it's technical. The other ("tacit knowledge") consists of what we know but probably can't express -- everything that goes into "having a knack for it," "knowing what feels right," etc. One of his examples is driving a nail into a board. You know this is a hammer; this is a nail; this is a board. You hold the hammer; you know how to hammer. All this is technical knowledge. But when you actually perform the activity, all you know is that you're driving the nail into the board. If you were to focus on your hammer technique, you'd be likely to screw the task up. Polanyi extends this kind of thinking into meditations (convincing, to my mind) on the role in science of such (non-"objective") factors as personal commitment, inspiration, insight, imagination and faith. As you'd guess, and like Hayek and Oakeshott, he had a great deal of respect for tradition and common sense, both of which he saw as embodying far more in the way of knowledge and experience than we'll probably ever be able to uncover. He seems solid and down to earth to me, which is probably partly because before turning to the philosophy of science he spent a couple of decades as a topnotch chemist. He had concrete experience of what he was philosophizing about. And -- amazingly enough -- whenever he felt he didn't have the information or evidence he knew he needed, he actually went out and got it. At one point, for example, he wanted to know how craftspeople worked, and how they managed their skills and their knowledge. What did he do? By god if he didn't go out and do extensive interviews with craftspeople. No empty theory here, in other words. Does his work provide literary thrills? Nope, though he wrote unpretentiously and straightforwardly. What it does... posted by Michael at April 11, 2003 | perma-link | (4) comments

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Web Surfing
Friedrich -- A quick tribute to the courageous and entertaining Steve Sailer (here), who I don't link to often enough simply because, well ... how to pick out just one good piece from among the riches? Sad to say, but there are days when I take his work -- completely but unfairly -- for granted. Luckily his website is well-organized and easy to browse. Recently Sailer has written about the IQs of Jews, on the murder of Pim Fortuyn, and on why high immigration rates can actually promote, not reduce, anti-Americanism. What's not to be fascinated by? Agree or disagree with him, Sailer's always provocative, smart, and humane. Tim Hulsey at My Stupid Dog (here) has put up a blizzard of postings in the last few days, all of them well worth lingering over. Be sure not to miss the one about the comic Southern writer Charles Portis (scroll down a bit), or the one about Murnau's "Sunrise." Girls are frighteningly competent, poised, assertive and achievement-oriented these days, don't you find? Maybe they really are superior beings, as I usually suspect; or maybe (as I confess I do occasionally wonder), a couple of decades of having vast amounts of resources and "self-esteem" pumped into them has been a help too. These days, attention seems to be turning to boys, who are routinely outperformed in high school, and who are now outnumbered by girls in colleges. Julie Henry writes in the Telegraph that studies have shown that boys can benefit from single-sex schooling as much as girls can, here. (Link thanks to View From the Right, here.) You go, boys. On the other hand, I spent a couple of years at an all-male school, and I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone. Legendary exploitation filmmaker -- OK, in the exploitation world "legendary" doesn't really mean much, but still -- Larry Cohen writes for the LA Times about what a strange adventure it was getting his screenplay for "Phone Booth" made, here. A good snapshot of how the Hollywood process can drive you insane. Yahmdallah (here) tries to figure out the best way to let the evangelist who has knocked on your front door know that you're already a Christian. Git funky! On April 29th, the doors of Memphis' new Stax Soul Music Museum will swing open. (You can read about the Museum here.) Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, The Staples Singers -- the list of Stax artists brings tears to my eyes, makes me feel lucky to share a country with such talented people, and -- best of all -- makes me want to get out on the dance floor and do some spastic white-boy flailing. Which may be a treat to absolutely no one else on the face of the planet, but it makes me feel good. And isn't feeling good -- in a deep, denying-none-of-the-pain kind of way -- what soul music is all about? I love this 3D reinvention of Pong, here, even though I can't seem to... posted by Michael at April 10, 2003 | perma-link | (20) comments

Free Reads -- Horowitz at the Ville
Friedrich -- Are you a fan of lefty-turned-righty David Horowitz? Sometimes I'm appreciative, sometimes I'm not. He's carried a slobby, aggressive, messianic, firey-eyed quality into conservatism, which is something I could do without, although god knows he's a battler and attack dogs can come in handy. But he's also smart and makes lots of good points. Sigh. Life doesn't seem to be getting any simpler. Anyway, the blog known as The Ville has done a q&a with Horowitz. We aren't the only blogging innovators, thank heavens. The interview is readable here. (Link thanks to Dustbury, here.) Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 10, 2003 | perma-link | (0) comments

American Public School Education and Its Discontents
Michael: Thanks again for putting me on to a posting by Jane Galt on education. She argues that the major problem with American education today is that there are no longer hordes of overqualified women willing to teach school for substandard wages. Also as you recommended, I sent her posting (which you can read here)to Teacher X, the ex-corporate executive who is transitioning to a job teaching middle school math, for his comments. As an overqualified man willing to teach school for substandard wages, Teacher X didn’t seem too impressed by Jane Galt’s argument. However, he was intrigued by two articles linked to her posting by a commenter, James Joyner. The first was “A Time for Truth” by Walter Williams which you can read here and the second was “Put Teachers to the Test” by Diane Ravitch which you can read here. Both discuss the poor academic credentials of today’s public school teachers and, intriguingly, of the teacher training professoriat. I quote from his email: Friedrich--I agree with nearly everything Walt Williams and Diane Ravitch have to say about teachers and teaching. I particularly agree with Williams. There is one factor, however, that is not included in their discussions. I call it the baby-sitting factor. I am not sure whether most adults understand the weirdness of hanging out with 25 or so modern young people all day long. Granted, my experience has only been in urban school districts, but in general the kids have no manners, no attention span, and no intellectual interests. There are exceptions, but they are rare. This reduces the teaching/learning experience to a war of mental attrition between the teacher and the student. While a few—very few—students are really "cooking" intellectually, the rest pick up a few little things in a very inefficient manner. Even the poorest (economically) of my students were basically spoiled brats. Paying attention to a teacher was not on the agenda. When I was a student, even a very young one, I was paying close attention most of the time. I thought my fellow students were too, but maybe I'm wrong about that. (I would give anything to be able to return to 1961 and observe my own 5th grade class from my current perspective.) At any rate, the people who are best suited to tolerate the slow, aggravating process of teaching modern kids basic skills are those who "love kids no matter what" and are "high on life." Both of these qualities generally don't co-exist with higher levels of thinking skill, intellectual achievement, and organizational ability. Most teachers' personalities allow them to put up with damn near anything thrown at them without a complaint, and their bosses (that is, administrators and parents) require them to put up with a great deal. One last issue—Jane Galt is right about one thing: it is amazing how small a percentage of school budgets are spent on regular teacher salaries. I estimate that it was about one-fourth of the total in [a large urban school... posted by Friedrich at April 10, 2003 | perma-link | (7) comments

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

A Nagging Question
Michael: My little boy is at an age (he’s pushing two) where an extra foot or so in height opens up a lot of horizons, so my wife went looking for a step-stool for him. She found some that were cute, stained wood with hand-painted pictures on them. Unfortunately, they cost $700. So my wife came up with a different plan: she bought an unfinished $45 stool, got my 13-year-old daughter to sand it and stain it (which she did admirably) and then assigned me to decorate said stool. Being a patron in the Renaissance manner, my wife also had a program worked out: my decorations should feature one of my son’s favorite scenes, the cow jumping over the moon. (My son finds the moon very, very intriguing. He asks me to take him outside almost every night to inspect it; once he’s taken a good long look, he then waves goodbye to it as we go back in the house.) Since I don’t recall ever seeing a cow walk fast, let alone attempt to jump (they don’t seem particularly well-designed for levitation) I turned to the Internet to obtain some reference material. I found a nice little design, which I copied reasonably accurately onto the stool. That left me with the moon, which in my reference material was a simple circle. I put in a shadow on one side of the moon and a cast shadow of the cow’s front legs to link the cow and the moon spatially, and then stopped. I was unsure how far to go with the whole spherical aspect of the moon, since the cow was resolutely a two-dimensional pattern, rendered in flat black and flat white. I pulled up a large scale astronomical photo of the moon, and stared at it for a while, not coming up with a solution. Suddenly, I realized that I had picked up my brush and some white paint and I was in the process of adding a highlight to my moon—a highlight that wasn’t present in the photograph. Then, mysteriously, the highlight kept getting bigger and bigger. I mixed some more intermediate greys and started adding craters along the shadow line and unspecified dark shapes in the lighted zone. I kept working lighter, then darker, then lighter and generally making my previously nice perfect sphere all beat up and lumpy--also slightly out of round. Finally, it appeared I was done, having created a moon that was extremely tactile, thus “resolving” the problem of a flat cow and a round moon only through an opposition so extreme it made the question pointless. By Popular Demand: Contemporary Cow with 1960s Sci-Fi Moon I’m not bringing all this up out of any idea that what I created was an artistic masterpiece, but simply because when I started working over the moon I recognized the presence of an aspect of my personality that always has violently strong opinions on aesthetic matters. I first became aware of this aspect of my personality... posted by Friedrich at April 9, 2003 | perma-link | (19) comments

Monday, April 7, 2003

Whence the Publishing Consensus?
Friedrich -- One of the odder phenomena that leaped out at me back in the days when I followed publishing was the disjunct between what the industry (meaning the publishers, agents, editors, critics, profs, etc, all together) promotes as Meaningful and Significant, and what these people as individuals actually confess to enjoying and not enjoying. For instance: I very seldom ran into people who loved the writing of my pet peeves, Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison. Yet it's hard to think of two contempo writers whose reps the industry pushes as hard. In other words, while the industry is promoting the notion that these two are major and important writers, the individuals who make up the industry, when speaking privately and freely, often confess that they don't enjoy their work at all. How to explain this? Being a math-o-phobe, I have no idea if there's some good chaos-theory-plus-simple-stats way to do so. A butterfly flaps her wings and soon after, in Stockholm, a writer is awarded the Nobel Prize? In this specific case: why Morrison? Why Rushdie? And do these kinds of consensus-judgments-that-no-one-really-likes take shape in all industries? I have some totally inadequate and predictable theories of my own which I'll try to articulate sometime. For now, I'll just say that my years hanging around publishing left me wanting to shout at people, Don't take what's being pressed on you as important too seriously! Most of the people doing the pressing don't believe in what they're selling themselves! Best, Michael UPDATE: The jamboree continues. Aaron Haspel has posted on the topic here, and the comments are already piling up.... posted by Michael at April 7, 2003 | perma-link | (28) comments

Shameful Movie Pleasures
Friedrich -- It took a little coaxing -- OK, it took a lot of arm-twisting -- but a number of our readers finally stepped up to the plate and volunteered the titles of movies they've been mocked for having enjoyed. Not Guilty Pleasures, which is tired and overdone, but something fresh and innovative: Shameful Pleasures -- movies we're wary about admitting we liked, if only because we don't like getting laughed at. It's too good a cringe-making collection not to celebrate in a posting of its own. It's also too wonderful to boil down to a top-10 list. So, arbitrarily conferring judge-and-jury duties on myself, I hereby present a top-20 Best-Of (Worst-Of?) Shameful Movie Pleasures list. Police Academy Turner and Hooch Stuart Little 2 Dragnet (the Hanks/Ayckroyd version) Top Gun Brian's Song Crash Point Break The Sound of Music The Ten Commandments (especially the role of the Narrator) John Carpenter's The Thing An Affair to Remember Reds Kindergarten Cop They Live Every Which Way But Loose The Truth About Cats and Dogs Independence Day Dunstan Checks In Xanadu I'll admit that I actually enjoyed six of these movies myself. Well, maybe seven. I'm not feeling rash enough today to specify which ones, though. Special "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, Or Even Sanity" Awards to Aaron for getting this thing going (and for 'fessing up to "Brian's Song"); to Laurel for admitting that she enjoyed "Vanilla Sky" and Annette for admitting to "...About Last Night" (imagine!); to Yahmdallah for "Xanadu" (!!!), and to Doug for volunteering "The Truth About Cats and Dogs"; and to Deb, who retires the award once and for all with her admission that she sometimes enjoys draping a dishcloth over her head and singing "Climb Every Mountain." Despite feeling ever-so-slightly disappointed that no one admitted to having enjoyed a Burt Reynolds redneck movie, a Jim Varney "Ernest" movie, or the Stallone/Travolta "Staying Alive," I'm delighted by the results. I think we've all done a perfectly marvelous job of disgracing ourselves, and I think we should all feel completely ashamed of ourselves. And the nice thing is, we already do. Many thanks to everyone who pitched in. What a courageous -- if goofy -- gang of visitors we have! Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 7, 2003 | perma-link | (18) comments

Battle of the Metaphors
Michael: In another 2blowhards investigative reporting coup, I’ve gotten my hands on some top-secret L.A. City Government emails about Frank Gehry’s new Walt Disney Concert Hall. *** From: Mayor of Los Angeles To: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government I was at a party the other night, and somebody compared the new Disney Hall design to a bunch of crumpled up aluminum foil. They hinted that it was symbolic of our declining aerospace industry. What the hell is that design supposed to be about, anyway? Do we have a public relations nightmare on our hands here, or what? *** From: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government To: Mayor of Los Angeles I don’t think it looks like a heap of crumpled up airplane parts. Well, at least not a whole lot like crumpled up airplane parts. I think the design suggests something more organic and natural, like fish from the ocean. *** From: Mayor of Los Angeles To: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government Fish! We’re not some little fishing village! We’re the goddamn gateway to the Pacific Rim! Our big downtown development project can’t be based on some stinking fish! This architect, Gehry, he’s supposed to be some kinda hotshot artist! Find me some art that served as his inspiration. Jeesus, do I have to think of everything! *** From: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government To: Mayor of Los Angeles We did some research and came up with a few antecedents. They're by some English artist. See the connections? Pretty neat, huh? B. Hepworth, Forms in Movement, 1956; F. Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1991 B. Hepworth, Kyoto, 1970; F. Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1991 *** From: Mayor of Los Angeles To: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government You moron! This center is supposed to be cutting edge stuff. It's bad enough it's taken us over a decade to come up with the dough to build this thing. Telling me it was inspired by some art from the 1950s is like saying we’re the avant-garde of the hicks! I’m going to have that architect’s head on a stick! Think of something else we can talk about, dammit! *** From: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government To: Mayor of Los Angeles How about surfing? Surfing and L.A. are a good mix. We can tell everyone all those bulgy shapes are, you know, waves. So the building’s metaphor is like riding the waves. *** From: Mayor of Los Angeles To: Director for the Arts, Los Angeles City Government Hmmmm. Sufing. I like surfing. It’s a bit retro but we can make it work. Just be sure to stay on message here. None of that fish stuff, you understand? I got an election coming up in a few years, and if you want to keep your ass employed around here, you spread the word: we’re riding the waves of the new millennium! *** Hey, you can't complain that... posted by Friedrich at April 7, 2003 | perma-link | (6) comments

Friedrich -- A few musings after a short spell of porn surfing. I'm struck less by the quantity of porn -- who'd have thought it would be otherwise? -- than I am by the number of women willing to pose and perform. I dunno, I guess back in the days when porn was a rarer thing, I imagined that there were, oh, one or two women per state who'd be willing to do porn. A half-hour of webporn surfing and you're left with the impression that there must be thousands of women in each state willing to do this kind of modeling. Where do they come from? Plenty look hardened, professional or burned out. But many of them look fresh, pretty and sweet, too. Good lord, but there are a lot of severely-pruned bushes out there these days. Has this become standard among women generally? I haven't peeped in a women's locker room recently, so have no idea. Makes me wish I'd sunk my savings in a Brazilian bikini-wax franchise a few years back, though. There's something for everyone out there, and I mean everyone. My latest discovery: there are guys who dig it when beautiful girls fart. I'd pass along the URL, only I think our webhost forbids it, and I've misplaced it anyway. -- something like that. I used to think of my imagination as a lively and inventive thing, forever volunteering kinky and entertaining scenarios. Next to the web, it's a pipsqueak. Speaking of pubic hair and fetishes, tightly-pruned beavers are so prevalent that the natural look has become its own fetish thing. Girls and women who don't go in for landing-strip chic have become their own special class: "Hairy." Really: a description of a site or photo might read "Oral, facial, hairy." It's now a fetish category. The first time I clicked on a photo labeled "hairy" I braced myself for horrors, but the word seems to signify nothing more than natural, though young guys who review porn sites seem to think natural is gross. Still, I once ran across a French webpage devoted to nudes with untrimmed bushes. That was the whole point of the page -- the glory of the natural bush. Much ecstatic prose, praising the good old days, by which the author seemed to mean the '70s. Who the hell is Tawnee Stone, and why are pictures of her to be found on just about every porn site? Oops, was I not supposed to admit that I sometimes look at porn online? Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 7, 2003 | perma-link | (22) comments

Pix for the Day -- Robert A.M. Stern
Friedrich -- I'm often puzzled by the architectural press. Why aren't they giving regular coverage not just to the thinking and building that interests me most, but to the thinking and building that's going on all around them? Isn't that part of what the press is supposed to do? Instead, usual suspects drone on about other usual suspects, and then all the usual suspects award each other prizes and carry on as though it's all been not just well-deserved but inevitable. But I'm just as puzzled by the general public's ... Well, what? Indifference? Gullibility? In any case, by how un-bugged civilians are by this state of affairs. Why aren't they 1) outraged by what's being foisted on them? and 2) interested in what's actually going on all around them? Such as the New Urbanism, the various other new traditionalisms, the new Christopher Alexander-derived ways of seeing neighborhoods and buildings. This rejection of modernism/po-mo and fashion is an impressively large-scale phenomenon. Yet it's so little discussed and so seldom acknowledged that I sometimes sense myself being looked at like a freak when I call it to people's attention. It's as though everyone's concluded that it's just some fringe, passing thing. So I present today's images simply to bolster two simple, easy-to-digest points: hey, it's happening, and hey, it's major. These are images of a new building designed by the architecture firm of Robert A.M. Stern. Note the use of traditional forms. Note the efforts to engage in conversation both with history and environment. What is Stern? Some reactionary Tory? Some nostalgic hippie gone neocon? No, Stern's a bona fide, ever-in-demand, well-established bigshot. He's on the board of the Disney Company, he co-masterplanned the Florida town of Celebration, he's written a number of excellent books, including several good ones about the architectural history of New York City. He's designed buildings for the Gap as well as for Columbia University. (He made what were apparently extraordinary efforts to consult with people living on New York's Upper West Side to ensure that his Columbia dormitory would jibe with what they want from, and how they see, their neighborhood.) Oh, and he's just been re-appointed as Dean of Yale's School of Architecture, where he's said to have kicked around some modernist/po-mo butt, and to have brought some innovative energy into the place. Anyway, a few views of a recent project in Nashville. This is a new building by a big-shot architect that's part of a large-scale movement. (Sound of shoe pounding on tabletop.) Sorry, almost lost my composure there. Anyway, please click on the images for a better look. Stern's Nashville Public Library Some fringe phenom, eh? The website for Robert A.M. Stern Architects (where I found these images) is here. Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, a Tennessee librarian, has put up a page of black and white photos of the Nashville library here. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 7, 2003 | perma-link | (13) comments

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Lynn Sislo, blogging again
Friedrich -- After too long a wrestle with Movable Type -- blogging's easy? hah! -- Lynn Sislo finally has Reflections in D Minor (here) behaving again. Lynn has always been one of the most stimulating and one of the freest-thinking of bloggers. I missed her, and it's good to have her back. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 6, 2003 | perma-link | (3) comments

Philosoblog, R.I.P.
Friedrich -- I hadn't surfed by Jim Ryan's Philosoblog (here)in a couple of days. When I did stop by this morning I was sorry to read that Jim's calling it quits -- something about life getting in the way and demanding a little attention. (These indignities we have to live with! I mean, shouldn't life be a subset of blogging rather than vice-versa?) Blog-reading and blog-writing have given me a lot of pleasure over the last year, and Jim's was one of the blogs I've enjoyed most. Full of ideas and information, as well as good writing and thinking. And a model in many ways for how to run a blog. Jim always advanced his observations and ideas in an accessible yet never dumbed-down fashion; he conducted the ensuing conversations in a friendly, helpful, and civil way; and he never shrank from (however reluctantly) dropping a bomb when a bomb needed dropping. The blogosphere would be an even better place if we could all do half so well. So: a toast to Jim for delivering so much in the way of learning and pleasure, and best wishes to him in his new projects. And here's -- greedily and unphilosophically -- hoping he'll find the occasional spare minute to stop by, say hi, and let us know what he's been thinking about. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at April 6, 2003 | perma-link | (1) comments