Category Archives: Life

Lunch with Maestro Carl St Clair

The first time I saw Carl St Clair conduct the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, (Orquesta Sinf√≥nica Nacional de Costa Rica), the performance was held at Teatro Meliko Salizar, just a few blocks west of the National Theater, the … Continue reading

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Is Progress our most important product?

Lancaster Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia, is home to some 237,000 Plain people, including the Amish, Mennonites and Brethren. These folks eschew modernity in favor of keeping the old ways and traditions. You’ll see them, if you visit, as I used … Continue reading

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The Big Pink Blitz

October is when we all leap onto the breast cancer awareness bandwagon. Everyone can be a hero in the fight. All we have to do is to wear pink, the official color of breast cancer awareness. Voices exhort us, not … Continue reading

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Of bees and boobs

We’ll call him Jose, though that isn’t his name. He’s a diminutive man, even for a Tico, I thought, the first time I saw him, and from his clothing and high rubber boots, a farm worker. Out here in rural … Continue reading

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Forget the friendly skies, try agony and insult in the air.

I thought I knew the antidote to the agony of air travel: avoid stops in the US and the collateral tyranny of the TSA; and snub its airlines, whose operators often confuse people with cattle, or chickens, and now charge … Continue reading

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Bovine bliss

As a child growing up in Philadelphia, I neither knew nor cared much about cows. When the family piled into our car and headed west through the dairy states towards Minnesota, my dad’s home, I enjoyed seeing them, and idly … Continue reading

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Rejecting conventional wisdom

San Juan de Dios Hospital, in San Jose, Costa Rica is a place I’ve come to know fairly well since my breast cancer diagnosis in June of 2012. Or at least I know the places that have to do with … Continue reading

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Free medicine

When Jack’s life-long potassium deficiency disappeared, everyone, especially the doctor, was gob-smacked. His condition had required him to ingest mega-doses of the mineral all day long, or risk not being able to get out of bed. For twenty years, each … Continue reading

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Life without Google

I slipped off my anti-Google wagon yesterday. It would have been day four of my life without Google if I hadn’t regressed. Like other addictions, Google use becomes a habit before the unsuspecting victim even realizes it. Every morning, and … Continue reading

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White Privilege

In 1997, I passed the Philadelphia School District’s test for English teachers, and picked my first school from among the openings. The choices seemed bleak: each position was at one of the persistently dangerous schools- that’s to say, schools that … Continue reading

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