Sunday, December 21, 2014

Annual ManualInternship

Bike World
Posted December 17, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

It isn’t personal

Entering into the public meeting on this early winter day in Iowa was reminiscent of visiting a new church eager for converts. Smiling faces greeted everyone at the door. Materials were placed into calloused hands as the staff kept everyone moving forward. Coffee and donuts were displayed on long tables

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Posted December 10, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

One cup of Iowa nice

Nothing seems to be free during the holidays.  Your money appears to be made of a special paper that dissolves upon contact with air.  Now you see it sitting crisply in your wallet, now you own a plastic Santa that sings a Rastafarian remake of “Jingle Bells.” Really? And, let’s

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Posted December 03, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Home for the holidays

The fast train from Madrid, Spain, to Avignon, France, departing Monday afternoon. Train 9724, Car 1. Seats 71 and 76. Shoulder to shoulder, the men stood. Hundreds of men. Singing, yelling, chanting. Deafening. Frightening. Empowering. Solidifying. Their roar began in the highest seats of the stadium, floated across the mass

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Posted November 26, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Dear Food Dude

Honestly, I started out blaming you. Who wouldn’t? We were lost. Deep in the vineyards outside of St. Emilion, France. And vineyards are like cornfields — one row of grape vines is indistinguishable from the next row of grape vines. Row after row after row. And those ancient sections of

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Posted November 19, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Do you know Joseph Haymoff?

The curious, who were mostly French on this early November day, carefully made their way down through the hedges and brambles and thorny bushes of the steep embankment until the spiky plants opened onto the sand. Everyone stopped to look over the vast beach at low tide. A glorious sight.

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Posted November 12, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A moral education

Great teachers are out there, folks. I’m talking about great teachers who are giants walking today’s earth. Great teachers who will make you lean in, or step back or gasp. Who, when they get done, make you realize you are no longer the same person. The planet has shifted. You have changed

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Posted November 05, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Steel shutters

The rain comes down steadily in Amsterdam. No surprise really. It is the Netherlands in late October. The walk from the train station up past three canals was too much for my shoes, as they now release a telltale squish. But still, there’s the line for the Anne Frank House,

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Posted October 29, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Water into wine

Dead would not be too strong to describe the wine industry in Iowa just a few years ago. Only 30 acres were in grape production as recently as 2000. I’m not kidding. Thirty acres. My goodness, there’s residential homes in Waukee with more acreage. Herbicides, bad weather and row crops

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Posted October 22, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Smart phones

Now, don’t push. Everyone will get to see everything. That’s it. OK, sex and drugs to the left. Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh straight ahead. And the Anne Frank House to the right. What’s your pleasure? Of course it’s sex and drugs. I know, I know, it wasn’t a fair

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Posted October 15, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

One day in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower

Being underground is always a little unnerving. And certainly when you are more than 6 feet under. The old Paris subway system smells of dark, dripping dankness even in the morning. Wet underfoot. People jostle and collide as they hurry to work or home or school to board the next

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