Once, at a memorial service for Irving, a shirt-tail relative whom I was quite fond of but in all honesty wasn't terribly close to nor had great contact with over the years, I became unreasonably upset.
Embarrassed, I said something to my cousin, who had been quite close to Irving (he was actually her uncle, not mine). "When someone dies, everyone you've ever known who's died dies again," she said, which immediately made me feel better.
Perhaps this helps explain how many are experiencing Senator Kennedy's death and why so many have made the trek to the Kennedy Library in the past 24 hours to honor him. Reliving other deaths aside, he was our senator (yes, I'm from Massachusetts), has been my senator for as long as I've lived here, and present enough that I can remember going to a meeting with him at the local junior high school about, guess what, healthcare as many as 17 years ago. Occasionally, I thought I saw him driving past my house on the way to the private school up the street that one of his sons attended (and which he did as well).
I've already told my favorite story about him here. Please see "Oh, hi, Ted" for a small peak at who the man really was in a unguarded moment.
And with his passing, may the search for the cure for brain cancer be amped up. It took the life of my best friend's husband in the same time that it did "Ted's."
I was walking down Broadway on New York's Upper West Side the other day, not far from where a tree was not growing in Central Park and decided to count how many people were texting while walking. 1, 2, 3, 10...and then I decided to count how many weren't. Let's see...in two blocks, two.
Here's what I want to know. WHAT THE HECK IS EVERYONE SAYING SO INTENTLY? And before my friends and family call me out on this...I even wonder what I'm really texting.
I was staying just a few blocks from Central Park in New York on Tuesday night when a sudden, vicious storm came up. At first, I thought someone was throwing things at the window, which was odd, as I was on the 12th floor.
Next time I need medical care, I'm scheduling with these physicians. Spotted today at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, they come from Big Apple Circus's Community Program. I dug a bit to track down Maria Parra, below, but haven't been able to web-o-locate her partner. So, without further ado, I present to you...
Perhaps your world is different but for me it's not all that often someone I've known for nearly all my adult life is named U.S. Ambassador to Italy. Such is the case with David Thorne, to us, half of "Rose and David," whose confirmation is titled this way in Glen Johnson's piece in today's Boston Globe: "Newly named ambassador to Italy has longtime ties to Kerry."
Much deserved. David's been a backroom force in Democratic politics for a very long time. Speaks fluent Italian; lived there; very smart; acquired and edited New Age Journal back in the day; and, yes, very close to Senator John Kerry, as per all the details in the article. But when I read a piece like this one, I see a different person from the David we've known. Not that everything isn't true; it is. When I think of David, I see someone with a very warm smile, who always asks a question about how you are, who always gives a kiss and a hug, and who's always on his way somewhere.
Through Rose and David, we met the friends who've been among our very closest for 30 years, the parents of our godson...and for that alone we'll always love them. Congrats, for sure, David. And, as I said to Rose when we first heard the news, I'm thrilled that her calm and contemplative energy will now be settled on the European continent. Have a blast, you guys. And, David, we're, of course, expecting you to now truly bring about world peace.
Someone I love dearly is in the hospital so I've been spending a bit of time visiting. Hospitals and coffee seem to be partners meaning that more than once I've gone to get a cup for myself and occasionally a decaf for her.
A day or so ago, I got a hot coffee from the snack shop. Price = $1.00. Today, I decided to get an iced coffee. I checked my pocket. $2.00. Surely enough for a small iced.
I ordered and handed the $2.00 to the clerk. She shook her head and said, "No. $2.71."
"Really? But a small hot coffee is only $1.00."
"But I only have $2.00 with me and I can bring you another dollar..."
It felt as if all my concern had been poured into that unpurchased iced coffee, that my inability to pay for it was indicative of my incapacity to help the person I was visiting.
At which point a woman came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder, and said to the clerk, "I've got it." Apparently, she could see what I would be losing if I couldn't take the coffee with me.
I reached my $2 toward her. "No," she said, pushing my hand back. "Let me. I know how you're feeling. I've spent 9 years in and out of this hospital with my son. Heart transplant."
"How's he doing?"
"Great," she said.
I asked her name, we hugged, and I nursed that iced coffee for the next few hours.
Yesterday, it was The New York Times reporting on Fort Leavenworth's commanding general, Frontier 6, blogging again. Today, it's NYT's Noam Cohen reporting on (that same) General Bill Caldwell's group that has organized wikis for writing Army doctrine.
This is without doubt the most progressive thing we've learned about that the Army is doing. Anyone with a login to the Army's online network can now just click to "collaboratively rewrite seven of the field manuals that give instructions on all aspects of Army life."
The Doctrine Directorate, known as CADD, and the Knowledge System group, known as BCKS, are collaborating to oversee the creation of the wikis. According to Colonel Chuck Burnett, who took over BCKS last October:
“For a couple hundred years, the Army has been writing doctrine in a
particular way, and for a couple months, we have been doing it online
in this wiki. The only ones who could write
doctrine were the select few. Now, imagine the challenge in accepting
that anybody can go on the wiki and make a change — that is a big
Clint Ancker, himself a retired colonel who heads up CADD, "Under the new plan, 50 or so capstone guides will remain field manuals
and will not be open to collaborative editing...More
than 200 other former field guides are likely to be consolidated or
Think about it. The Army is looking to its employees to develop policy. After all, the employees are the ones who have to carry it out. As I've said a time or two when companies resist some of these new-fangled ideas, if the Army can do it, so can you.
NB: Here's a link to Jeff Stamps's and my presentation at the last Army Operational Knowledge Management Conference in 2008, organized by BCKS.