Archive for May, 2014

A crack-down on party buses

From the Maple Ridge News:

The party bus industry received a stern reminder from police and the province last week to keep alcohol off their rolling discos as graduation season approaches.

After six years of tirelessly lobbying the province to regulate the burgeoning industry, Julie Raymond and her daughter Danielle believe they are finally being heard. They are set to meet with Transportation Minister Todd Stone on June 11.

“Danielle and I no longer feel that we are alone and that people are finally realizing that what we have been saying over the past six years is in fact the truth on how the majority of the industry operates,” said Raymond, whose  daughter Shannon died on July 26, 2008 after taking two ecstasy pills and drinking alcohol during a birthday party for a friend on a party bus. She was 16.

Shannon death’s resulted in the trial of Victoria Turley (at whose home Shannon perished) on the novel charge “Failure to provide the necessities of life.” Turley was acquitted.

Danielle Raymond, a former student of mine, has become a great friend. I met Julie Raymond and other members of their family during the trial. I feel lucky to know them: Such a strong family.

The Plain Style

This is what I try to teach my students.

Thursday Morning


Apparently somebody in my building has given up drinking for the time being.


Your blogger here is at a new high. According to the people at Klout,

Klout measures your influence online. We measure influence primarily as the ability to drive others to action. When you produce content online, we look at how your network responds to that content.

Klout takes in data from social networks and gives you an overall Score based on your online influence. We get this data from public networks (such as your Twitter profile) and any other networks you’ve connected to Klout (such as Facebook and Google+). We process about 3 billion pieces of content and connections daily to give you a new, accurate Score each morning.

The exact algorithm Klout uses to calculate scores has changed from time to time, and has never been made public.

This Ain’t No Picnic

Another favourite brought to me by my buddy Richard Chon – mid-80s, Ann Arbor. Go over and listen to some of his fine music!

Young men

Cecil Taylor and Steve Lacy.

I talk too much

My garrulity and loudness have long been an embarrassment to me – as they also have been to many of my friends. The only thing that shuts me up – and down – is deep depression, which is obviously not a preferable state. I’ve been especially gabby lately, and have found people ending conversations abruptly. I was reminded of something I wrote many years ago in this space:

At the end of party I went to recently, a woman told me that I talk too much.  I didn’t know how to respond, and left the party shortly afterwards, a bit confounded and mute, and afflicted with what the French call l’esprit d’escalier – “the wit of the staircase” – i.e., my mind began filling with all sorts of things I should or could have said.

So:  a mind rewind.  Here we go:  “Bob, you talk too much.”  (There might have been an exclamation point there.) “True, true, true, true.”  “Not ‘too much,’ just ‘much.’”  “If you subtract the number of times I repeat myself, then you know that at least I don’t say too much.” “I can tell you why: You’re not going anywhere, are you?” “I just keep going until I find a word that makes you friendly.” “Does that mean you don’t think I’m interesting?” “What would you suggest I not have said?” Or, finally: “Throw me away and call it a day.”

[A friend wrote me, charmingly:  “You don’t talk too much.  People talk too little.” — 16 Jan. 05]