Category Archives for "Articles"

A Fine Way To Make Money

I was part of a routine traffic stop a while back.  My old, old car was missing its front license plate. After about an hour with the police officer, I was issued a ticket.  He noted in conversation about four times that many owners of specialty or vintage cars didn’t install their front plate because […]

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All Bound For Morningtown!

In the children’s songs, Morningtown ride (1957 Malvina Reynolds), girls and boys under their blankets are “All bound for Morningtown/Many miles away.”  This refrain is repeated until near the end when we hear that “Somewhere there is Morningtown/Many miles away.” I sang this song many times (badly) to my boys.  The technique of indicating there’s […]

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Judging a Rusty Book By The Cover

I judged a book by its cover recently—Beyond Rust seemed like it would be a good read.  I’d learn more about Pittsburgh and the phenomenon known as the rust belt, and how some rusty areas came back.  The Pittsburgh Renaissance was aided by the Alleghany Conference and public private partnerships.  Through these efforts, thousands of […]

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The Witty Professor

My witty high school teacher used to ask questions in class.  How many here want a particular lesson—raise your hands.  How many here will be attending the event Friday afternoon—raise your hands, and so on.  Then came the wit.  “If anyone is not here, please raise your hand.” Equally nutty is the use of devices […]

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A Dickensian Refuge

When we think of cities that provide refuge for the wealthy, we tend to think of London, New York, Paris and perhaps Vancouver.  Vancouver has just imposed a 15% tax on properties bought by foreign buyers.  This might get challenged in court, might cool down the market, or might actually drive up prices with the […]

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Make It So

If only thinking made it so.  Someone in New Orleans wrote in that city’s emergency plan that “disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways.”  Good idea.  Won’t happen.   Kansas City, Missouri also notes “inoperative vehicles will be towed or pushed.”  Good idea.  Won’t happen. Brisbane, Australia’s plan calls for students to help in […]

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The Name Game

  There I sat with a very big potential client in a swanky boardroom in the USA.  We exchanged pleasantries.  The client wanted a “business continuity plan” sometimes referred to as a BCP, with the “C” sometimes standing for continuation. I pulled out my 3-ring binder—a 200 page template for a crisis management plan.  I […]

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Tools to fix Tools

If you needed a hammer to fix a hammer, you’d be out of luck if you had a broken hammer.  It’s like the computer program that teaches you how to use computer programs.  You have to know before you can know. It’s this kind of irony I read in many urban emergency plans.  Many cities […]

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Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one” said legendary journalist A. J. Liebling. The writers of Halifax’s urban emergency plan should have read this.  They should also have noted Mark Twain’s much older quote – “[n]ever pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”  You can update […]

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