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Dear I.R.S.
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 13:59:10 EDT

Says it all, it does.

Tax Day Letter

And says it says it sincerely . . .

Too.

Were it written by anyone else - someone anonymous like you or me - the return might well be rejected, since it would preclude a required oath of truthfulness (appropriately enough in these days of ubiquitous mendacity in government), and penalties would be assessed for good measure, with a meaningful slug of interest as well.

Probably not in this case . . .

I'm thinking.

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A Very Holy Week
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 11:39:19 EDT

It is both Passover and, in both the Christian and Orthodox traditions, Holy Week.

holy week

We celebrate these solemn, hopeful holidays together this year, thanks to the vagaries of the lunar calendar.

So that much more special for many of us infidels, who count ourselves among the faithful.

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North By Northeast
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 11:27:39 EDT

Up here, the sea can be violent, to be sure, but more often it's a source of peaceful reflection . . .

If you're doing it right.

sea sand

As you can see.

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North By Northwest
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:58:25 EDT

And still, to this day, an attraction for some of the loopy among us, in my experience, because even with the passage of time, there's been no fix found for the stupidity of taking on the ice and the winds up there, over there.

passage

The Northwest Passage is a water route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through northern Canada's Arctic Archipelago, and along the northern coast of Alaska.

John Franklin, born on April 16, 1786, was one of the many explorers, including Martin Frobisher and Henry Hudson, who sought to prove the existence of the route, but failed.

In Franklin's case, the attempt proved to be fatal. He set out in 1845, leading an expedition of two ships carrying 129 men, attempting to travel the last unexplored section of the passage. The ships were frozen in after passing the west side of King William Island. Franklin and others died during this part of the trip; the rest of the team perished later of scurvy, starvation, and lead poisoning from their tinned foods.

Roald Amundsen led the first successful expedition across the Northwest Passage; it took three years (1903-1906).

People today fly over the Northwest Passage and therefore, if it's the right time of day - I think I did it once, at night, flying over the Pole to Tokyo, and another time with Hong Kong as my destination - they look down on it, quite possibly unfamiliar with its tragic history of exploration challenges unmet. From what they can see, they readily understand that the air route is to be much preferred to any attempted passage by sea.

Fly West, young man (and, of course, young woman, too).

It's the better way.

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Lollapalooza
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 11:17:23 EDT

In case, you know . . .

You wondered.

lolla logo

Last year, Lollapalooza celebrated a 20th anniversary and the music festival's founder, Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell, remarked to me, "I mean, it looks like this will go on forever, right?"

Never say forever, but Lollapalooza's long-term future in Chicago - where the touring concert series was reborn in 2005 as a stationary, destination event in downtown's Grant Park - certainly firmed up this spring.

As did I, to start my day.

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More Work To Be Done
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 11:07:52 EDT

Still.

I began this day - early, still in bed - trying to figure out whether, in my head, I was spelling Lollapalooza correctly.

lolla crowd

Imagine my surprise . . .

Turned out I was.

Another challenge met and mastered.

More to come.

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A Somber Anniversary
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:48:35 EDT

Here in Boston, we are remembering today.

As they are, it seems likely, in cities and towns across the land.

marathon memory

The family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard stands at a wreath outside the Forum during a memorial event attended by families of victims and Boston officials on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the first anniversary of the bombing. (Staff photo by Nancy Lane)

Bagpipes wailed and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley offered comfort and prayer as wreaths were placed at both the Boylston Street sites where bombs exploded one year ago, killing 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Medford and Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University grad student from China. More than 260 were injured.

Martin’s younger sister, Jane Richard — the 7-year-old whose recovery from a leg amputation has amazed and inspired millions — walked on a prosthetic limb beside her father, Bill, her mother, Denise and her older brother, Henry.

A year later, if not a year better.

But then, that . . .

Too.

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Tipping Blondie
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 18:57:01 EDT

You don't always get what you pay for, as you may have noticed by now, even without my tip.

Although - here's another tip - sometimes you do.

hooters

In a study of 432 waitresses, Lynn found that waitresses with blond hair received larger tips than waitresses with any other hair color.

How touching . . .

No, really.

For a 1984 paper in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April Crusco and Christopher Wetzel had waitresses at two Mississippi restaurants randomly divide their customers into three groups.

One group of diners wouldn’t be touched; one group would be touched on the shoulder once for about a second and a half, as the waitress returned the change at the end of the meal; and one group would be touched on the palm of the hand twice for half a second each time.

Crusco and Wetzel found that touching had a significant effect on tip size, and the double-hand touch was the most effective: Customers left an average tip of 12 percent when they weren’t touched, 14 percent when they were touched on the shoulder and 17 percent when touched twice on the palm of the hand.

No real surprise there, I'm thinking.

It's called putting the touch on someone, and when the person doing it is cute, and young, and blonde, there's a quite natural urge in the soul of the functioning male to reciprocate . . .

Appropriately or otherwise.

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Tom Lehrer
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 17:27:08 EDT

If, like me, you have wondered - quite idly, to be sure - whatever became of Tom Lehrer, wonder no more.

lehrer

Looking For Tom Lehrer, Comedy's Mysterious Genius

Tom Lehrer is considered one of the most influential figures in comedy — despite a body of work consisting of just 37 pitch-black songs and a career that stopped abruptly when the counterculture he helped spawn eclipsed him. You can ask him why he quit, but good luck getting an answer.

Wonder no more.

And if you have not so wondered . . .

What's wrong with you, anyway?

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