Inwood Park – Beauty and Baseball (Béisbol) at the North End of Manhattan

After having been to New York so many times, it’s nice to be surprised. This time around, thanks to wonderful friends of ours, my wife and I had an opportunity to explore Inwood, at Manhattan’s very northern tip. Spanish can be readily heard in the area, and there are also many young professional couples with very young children. Admittedly, as in many city neighborhoods, there is a very noticeable divide between the affluent and not-so-affluent. While this is always discouraging, at least there is some interaction between socioeconomic groups, and it’s great to hear so many bilingual people. While it’s a vibrant area, it doesn’t have the ferocious intensity that you get in the midtown and downtown neighborhoods.

Our first surprise was the glorious Inwood Park. You’re greeted by huge gently rolling carefully tended grass fields, plenty of well-kept pathways, and an impressive Hudson river view.

Our first park stroll had an athletic theme. [Maybe I should have put this article in my training blog] A very buff, shirtless young man was doing some pull-ups. The personal trainer in me could not resist making some snotty sotto voce comments to my wife about his form. Lonnie laughed, and added that I should go and show him how it’s done. I said, no, I’m not like that, and normally that’s true. The chest-beating one-upmanship crap is so juvenile. This may be why people always underestimate my fitness level. She cajoled me, and finally, I said OK. He was so young and athletic, why not give him the benefit of having an elder show him how to do it right? I went over, and out of the corner of my eye, made sure that he was watching. In street clothes and with no warm-up, I snapped off 6 perfect pullups, well over the bar. I could have probably done two or three more with a struggle and/or a warm-up, but hey, that wouldn’t have looked as cool, and after all, I was on vacation; why work? So I smoked him, and it was hard to wipe the smiles off of our faces. As we walked away with bemused expressions, I could see him getting back up there for more pullups – he had to save face, and wasn’t going to let that old bastard show him up.

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Is WordPress Good for Beginners? Yes, But Not Always

Why can’t WordPress do everything I want, AND read my mind?

WordPress is such a nice system that its popularity has skyrocketed. It’s easy to use, and has a phenomenal feature set. As its fame increases, many newbies are now coming into the fold, and while many are happy, some of them are having a lot of trouble.

WordPress has been the premier open source tool for blogging for quite some time now, and people are also discovering that it can be used for other types of sites. The developers (and plugin authors) have done a superb job adding features and making the system easy to use. While this has allowed people with moderate computer skills to use it, an inevitable byproduct of such popularity is emerging: a lot of people cannot figure out various parts of the system, and they are having trouble getting technical support, even though there is a nice free support forum where people can join for free and ask questions.

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Philadelphia – Brief Verbal Snapshots of Our Visit

Here are some of my impressions of our Philadelphia trip. This is a work in progress.

Upon arriving in Philly on Amtrak, the gorgeous station made for a dramatic welcome to the city. The warmly-colored marble extended far upward in an enormous art deco style main room with long, vertical line motifs. I reflected upon how New York had allowed the original, beautiful Penn Station to be demolished, to be replaced with the crummy one they have today, and how nice it was that Philly had not let a similar thing happen.

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Dear Mrs. Pelley, My Favorite Teacher,

School can be a peculiar place. Though lack of work reliably produces failure, having intelligence is no guarantee of satisfaction or success. Obviously there are multitudes of other factors that interfere with academic success, such as extremely bad family backgrounds, terrible neighborhoods, and dozens of other problems which I won’t tackle here. In retrospect, I, … Read more