July 04, 2008
Hiking the Y on the Fourth of July
Posted by Gordon Smith

Hiking Y Mountain is popular most summer days, but especially so on the Fourth of July. We arrived at 6:00 am to avoid the big crowds. Here are two of my sons standing on the Y ...


While we were up there, the balloons took off again ...


It's a beautiful day in Happy Valley!

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

July 03, 2008
Up, Up, and Away ...
Posted by Gordon Smith
May 26, 2008
Posted by Gordon Smith

Last week I met a person about my age whose father was killed in Vietnam. The father never saw his son, but the son had come to terms with the fact that he would never meet his father. Now with several sons of his own, my friend understands that he missed out on some of the experiences that he was giving his own sons, but he recognizes that the life he might have had with his father could have been different in some negative ways, too. Among other things, his father was a heavy drinker.

Another vicarious memory of war.

In the throes of grading, I am still sifting through these memories. Courtesy of National Geographic, a photo for the occasion ...


After living in Madison for five years, Memorial Day evokes another memory ...


Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

March 23, 2008
Calculating Easter
Posted by Gordon Smith

I had no idea it was this complicated.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

Peeps Show
Posted by Gordon Smith

Easter is a religious holiday around our house, but I enjoyed WaPo's Peep Show 2. This was not the most elaborate entry, butt it cracked me up.


Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

November 29, 2007
'Tis the Season
Posted by Jennifer O'Hare

I know the holiday season is here.  Not just because the prospect of writing (and grading) exams is looming large, and not because my local shopping mall is completely tricked-out with festive decorations.  I know it's here because I've been on a desperate hunt for various hard to find toys for various family members.  My nephew wants a raccoon Webkinz.  My local toy stores have lots of Webkinz.  They have dogs, they have bears.  They even have a very cute penguin.  But no raccoons!  And my niece wants a "Bulls-eye Ball" game.  I didn't even know what a Bulls-eye Ball game was, let alone where to find one!  I prefer to support my local retailers when I can, but I have to admit that Amazon and eBay have saved me this holiday season!

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

November 20, 2007
The Boston Globe on Tips to Avoid Lawsuits from Office Parties
Posted by Lisa Fairfax

The Boston Globe notes that holiday parties are a potential minefield for lawsuits, and hence provides some tips, courtesy of Bryan Cave LLP, for businesses seeking to avoid being blasted.  Below are some of the tips:

"Avoid salty foods such as chicken wings because they may result in excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Consider having adequate security.

Make employee attendance voluntary.

Check relevant insurance policies for possible coverage.

Set the tone with a series of pre-party memos. Memos should note that the party is a business-related function, and they should also remind everyone of the company's anti-harrassment policies. Pre-party memos should suggest that everyone should give gag gifts and provocative decorations a good leaving-alone.

If party plans call for music, tell the band or DJ, "No slow dances."

And after the party, investigate all harrassment complaints."

I especially like the pre-party memos, and though I have been to my share of holiday parties, I have never actually seen such a memo.   And of course, while some of these tips seem obvious and even a bit over the top, there is always that memorable office party story floating around suggesting that even in business settings, with people who are otherwise extremely professional, there are those who do get carried away (and inappropriately so) at holiday parties.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Bookmark

February 20, 2007
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Posted by Christine Hurt

I just realized that if tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, then today is Fat Tuesday!  This was one of my favorite days at my law firm in Houston because our "local counsel" in New Orleans would send our department a King Cake!  Because of the perpetuation of their arcane set of laws, attorneys in Louisiana are able to extract "local counsel" rents, but they were very generous in sending us a cake once a year to say "thank you"!

For my Wisconsin friends, a King Cake is similar to a Kringle, except it's gawdier and has a Baby Jesus baked inside.  (In the South, "gawdy" and "religious" are not mutually exclusive.)

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

January 16, 2007
Belated MLK Day Post
Posted by Christine Hurt

Sorry that I missed more day-appropriate MLK Day blogging yesterday; our family stole one more "home day" before Winter Break is officially over!  We did revive our annual (six years running) tradition of having neighbors over for birthday cake in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We were first invited over for MLK birthday cake by our neighbors (transplanted from Atlanta) in Houston, and we have carried the tradition to Milwaukee and now Champaign.  (We heard yesterday that our neighbors in Milwaukee were continuing the tradition last night.)  Although sort of a weak attempt at honoring Dr. King, we at least pause to make the day special for our kids and to turn the eating of cake (before dinner, no less) into a teachable moment.  Last night, the older kids watched the full 9 minute "I Have a Dream Speech" and astonished me with their riveted attention.  I'm not sure if we can teach the entire history of race relations and the lingering threat of unconscious/subconscious bigotry in between bites of cake, but hopefully we can instill in them the mission that at times we must be very brave and try to change the world.

For one of our most-linked posts, here is a post from MLK Day two years ago.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

January 01, 2007
Happy New Year!
Posted by Gordon Smith

Happy New Year, everyone! I decided to wait for the end of Nnew Year's Day so that I could comment on college football. I will be heading to DC tomorrow for the AALS Annual Meeting, and I suspect I won't see another game until next Monday. A few thoughts ...

  • Way to go, Badgers! Wisconsin did not play particularly well, but they made enough plays. Some schools have a tradition of winning bowl games (BC and Utah spring to mind as recent examples), and Wisconsin is establishing that tradition, having won nine of 12 bowls since 1993. For the past month, people have been saying that Michigan might deserve consideration for the national championship if they defeated USC (which they didn't) and Florida beat Ohio State (which they won't). Anyway, Wisconsin now finds itself with a better record than Michigan. Why not Wisconsin? After all, that lone loss to Michigan was a long time ago.
  • Of course, the stronger case for national championship consideration if Ohio State lost next Monday would be Boise State. Wow! What an amazing finish! By both teams. Boise State beat every team on its schedule, and a playoff would give them a shot at a national title. (Did you see Ian Johnson propose to the cheerleader after the game?)
  • Speaking of Michigan ... ack! That was not good football. With four bowl losses in a row, I think it's time for Lloyd Carr to hire Barry Alvarez as a consultant on how to prepare for bowl games.
  • How did USC lose to UCLA?

Permalink | Holidays| Sports | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

November 22, 2006
You Can Get Anything You Want ...
Posted by Gordon Smith

The W$J reminds me of the most famous Thanksgiving song after "Over the River and Thru the Wood." If you have a spare 18 minutes and 30 seconds, you can listen to Alice's Restaurant Masacree here.

As for Alice, you can find her here.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

October 31, 2006
The Economics of Halloween
Posted by Gordon Smith

A reform proposal from Kevin Hassett: "So let's do something to reform Halloween. The first step would be for Halloween donors to give kids money instead of candy. Kids could then go to the supermarket the next day and binge on the candies they really like. That solution would get an A-plus in economics."

Hmm. Hassett's after collective reform, but I have a more tractable goal: personal wealth maximization. By this standard, it seems to me that the most rational course of action -- at least if you live in a neighborhood where vandalism of your home is a remote possibility -- is to leave home and spend the evening trick-or-treating with your kids in Christine's neighborhood!

Anyway, Hassett also broaches that timeless favorite: what is the worst Halloween candy? He nominates t
he Charleston Chew. Never heard of it. Regardless, no candy can compete with the circus peanut. Yuck!

Thanks to Danny Sokol for alerting me to the Hassett article.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

Halloween & "Promiscuous Hospitality"
Posted by Christine Hurt

Happy Halloween!  Last year, I posted on the "immigrant trick-o-treater" phenomenon and how I have made a decision to embrace all comers to my door on this one night a year where we pretend we live Norman Rockwell existences where we show up unannounced at our barely familiar neighbors' doors and are treated with hospitality.  Some in the comments were unconvinced, but I remain of the mind that giving a nickel's worth of candy to a child whose parents drove her over to my neighborhood is the (very) least I can do to show thanks for the amazingly safe and comfortable life I lead.  In fact, I have met at least one reader who told me that last year's post changed his mind on the topic. 

So, start celebrating Thanksgiving a little early, count your blessings, and stock up on lollipops.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

September 27, 2006
Happy Anniversary!
Posted by Gordon Smith

Today is my 21st wedding anniversary. A few weeks ago, I commented to my wife that our marriage was a joint venture of sorts. We produce services and manufacture products, all of which are still in development. But the results to date are promising. I am deeply grateful for my joint venture partner, which is a good thing, since we didn't include an exit provision in the joint venture agreement.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

July 04, 2006
Happy 4th!
Posted by Gordon Smith

It's been a relaxing day here, beginning with a long stage in the Tour de France, which inspired my wife and me to take a ride of our own. We drove to Devil's Lake, a beautiful state park about 30 miles north of Middleton, and decided to try some of the trails there. (Yes, if we were real cyclists, we would simply have ridden our bikes to Devil's Lake, but in my case, the cost of the ambulance outweighs the benefits.)

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the flat tire, which struck about 10 minutes after we started (and nearly ended in a crash). We ended up hiking the East Bluff Trail, instead.

After the hike, I finally had the opportunity to eat at the Blue Spoon Cafe in Prairie du Sac. If you haven't been, the concept is "upscale Culver's." Though not too far upscale. The menu features sandwiches and gelato.

Which reminds me, how about that Italian soccer team? I was sad to see the Germans lose, but they had a nice run.

Permalink | Holidays | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Bookmark

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
January 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Miscellaneous Links