The Dagley Dagley Daily  

By Janet Dagley Dagley
Covering the world from the waterfront in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

ISSN 1544-9114

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The Dagley Dagley Daily

01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006

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Just added a search feature, available free from You'll find it way down at the bottom of the page. If you've got time, use it to search for something and let me know if it works. I've moved the hit counter there also.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @8:32 AM



This fish is named Agnew. He's the dominant one in the tank, although Bidshika has been more of a camera-hog lately. We turned all the lights off, except the ones in the tank, for this picture.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @9:05 PM



Happy birthday to Alexander de la Espriella, who turns 23 today, and who was fortunate to be born on the 28th rather than the 29th. Alex shares his birthdate with presidential (and senatorial) offspring Chelsea Clinton.

In other news...

Archives, we've got archives: I managed to fix the links (those numbers over on the upper left) to The Dagley Dagley Daily archives, so now if you want to read a previous post and can't find it when you scroll down, look in the archives and you should find them there. More improvements coming soon.

My son Jesse now has a web page, complete with a photo of himself juggling, some poetry, some breaking news, and a link to The Dagley Dagley Daily. It's in Slovakia, where you can get free web hosting if you can understand the language.

Peace and The Art of War

Today, like most days, I did some Tai Chi exercises. And like most every day, I followed a videotape I bought several years ago featuring Terry Dunn, who also happens to be the Tai Chi instructor for the Los Angeles Lakers. I've played this tape so many times that I usually fast-forward past the introduction that explains some of the history and philosophy behind Tai Chi, the mother of all martial arts, and most of the time I leave the sound off and just use the visuals as a reference. But today, for some reason, I rewound it to the very beginning and listened to the introduction again as I put on my shoes and got ready to practice. During the introduction, Dunn practices Tai Chi on a scenic rocky seashore, while a narrator sets the mood. Tai Chi is like water, he says, yielding yet powerful. And it is consistent with the teachings of Sun Tzu, who wrote the oldest known military treatise in the world, The Art of War, around 500 B.C. "To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence," Sun Tzu wrote, "Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." Sun Tzu also offers some handy hints for strategic use of such tools as chariots, mountain passes, and spies; he advises leaders to think of the troops they command as their own children. He points out that cities, especially walled cities, are very difficult to attack. And he goes on to say:

"Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.
"No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.
"But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.
"Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact."

All of which reminds me of the sign my high-school Spanish teacher (who was also the football coach) kept on his desk: "When in doubt, punt."

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:15 PM


Yes, his middle name really was McFeely, and no, he never, ever said “Can you say...?”

I hadn’t expected this to become the daily obituary report, but people keep dying, people whose passing must be noted, even here. People like the Reverend Fred Rogers, AKA Mister Rogers, previously known as Misterogers, who died early today at the age of 74, after serving for more than three decades as a singing, fish-feeding, puppeteering minister to a very young and widely dispersed congregation. Fortunately, most of that ministering was videotaped, so it will still be available to future generations.

Today’s AP wire features not only an obit but several sidebars, including a collection of quotes from the man himself. I found it disappointing, because it included not a one of my own favorite Mister Rogers lines. So I looked around a bit online and found a few other quotes I like better than the ones the AP chose:

“I got into television because I hated it so.”
“The whole idea is to look into the television camera and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who might feel that he or she needs it.”
“The nearer I get to the end of life on this earth, the simpler I want to become.”

But those still aren’t my favorite Fred Rogers sayings. As it turns out, my very favorites are not from his speaking but from his singing. He wrote more than 150 songs, and out of all those, three lines from three different songs have stuck with me (and at least two other people I know):

“There are many ways to say I love you.”
“Wishes don’t make things come true.”
“You’ll never go down, never go down, never go down the drain.”

The family is planning a private service; no word yet on whether the good reverend will be laid to rest in sweater and sneakers or jacket and loafers.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @1:47 PM



Breaking news this morning:

* The New York Times has published a new assortment of obituaries, including one for the guy who wrote the song On Top of Spaghetti, but still not a word about Virginia Kettering.

* Pioneer 10, the first human-made object to leave the solar system, has fallen silent, 30 years after it left earth on a 21-month mission. At its launch, it was the fastest human-made object ever to leave the planet, traveling at 32,400 mph, passing the moon 11 hours after launch and reaching Mars orbit in just 12 days. NASA says that at last contact, Pioneer 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth, so far away that a radio signal (traveling at the speed of light) would take 11 hours, 20 minutes to reach us. Pioneer 10 is traveling in the general direction of the star Aldebaran, literally the "bull's eye" of the constellation Taurus, 68 light years from here, and is expected to arrive there in just over two million years. So please stay with us as we continue our nonstop hype ... Oops: this is a blog, not a cable news channel.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @8:17 AM



Bidshika was very excited about being on the Internet. More fish photos soon.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @7:00 PM



As you can see from the hit counter below, we’ve already had tens of visitors to this site, some of whom have taken a moment to write us. And some of THOSE are not even relatives.

Frank Hofmann’s photo of the birds of paradise in his front yard inspired my friend Dolores Brandon, author and Executive Director of AIR, to send this haiku, which she wrote while visiting Los Angeles a few years ago:

“California Haiku

Birds of paradise
Anchored in their nests of leaves;
Cars fly the freeways.”

Thanks, Dolores. Very eloquent, such efficient use of language, and I’m sure it will remind Frank of his first visit to the Golden State, even when he’s stuck in traffic on the freeways there these days. Like me, Dolores is a member of the National Writers Union, as is my friend Joe Harkins, who is as good a raconteur as he is a writer, and since he’s been everywhere and done everything, he’s got some great stories to tell. After reading the item I wrote about Virginia Kettering (and the inventions of her father-in-law, Charles Kettering), Joe wrote:

“Your mention of Freon brings back two memories from the same day and place. In the mid-60's I was a regional sales manager to the emerging aerospace industry and computer memory-cores for the leading manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning machines. As such, we were DuPont's biggest distributor for the liquid version of Freon used in the U/S immersion. I was brought to Wilmington for a training course in the stuff.

The course, presented to four of us, was given jointly by the chief chemist and the marketing manager of that category. Freon is not a single product. It is a collection of many variation of trichloro-trifloro-ethane, a tricky to make hydrocarbon — explosive at certain stages due to the violent potential of pure flourene in combination with pure chlorine — oh and the military chlorine gas is a stage by-product. The chemist told us an astounding story about the discovery of Teflon, the solid polymer form of Freon.

He had taken some pressure tanks (like welders tanks) of Freon out of the laboratory storage room where, unknown to him, they had been through a fortuitous cycle of temperature changes while at the perfect pressure. When he opened the valve to extract some gas, nothing came out. Yet the weight of the tanks indicated they were full. Removing a valve had no effect.

Out of curiosity, he sawed open a tank and found the interior coated with a solid now called Teflon.

Second anecdote. Not told but witnessed.

The marketing guy wanted to demonstrate to us that the liquid form of Freon is more stable and safer to be around than nasty old perchlor and trichlor (more common cleaning solutions in those days) both recognized as insidiously toxic and addictive to alcoholics even then. He had a jar of liquid Freon on his desk — and a box of donuts. As he described the stable properties of Freon, he casually dunked the donut, waved it about as he spoke about its virtues (to let the highly volitile liquid evaporate) and then ate the donut.

They wanted us to repeat the demo when we returned to our customers. I never did. I never went to college but I ain't stupid.

Over the years since then Freon has been recognized as more poisonous than its simpler chlorinated solvent cousins. It works slower but does more damage to just about every organ in the body.”

That’s from Joe Harkins,

I’m working on some improvements here: a better archive, a search feature, optional automatic notices when the blog is updated so you don’t have to keep visiting all day, and I’ll be posting an mp3 of my WYSO commentary soon also for those who missed the broadcast/webcast. I’ve applied for an ISSN from the Library of Congress, so that this can become a “real” publication, and I’m working on getting The Dagley Dagley Daily listed by the Open Directory Project so that it will turn up on a Google search. But none of that is going to happen today.

Michael took some great new photos of the fish, and we’ll be posting some of those soon also.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:25 PM


Take this news judgment and shove it...

One was a hobo, then a sailor, then a prisoner, then an escaped prisoner, then a prisoner again, then a songwriter, then a bass player, then a one-hit-wonder country singer covering someone else’s song, then bankrupt, then a killer, which made him a prisoner again, then finally a born-again Christian when he died at age 64.

The other was born into ordinary circumstances, married her childhood sweetheart (whose family happened to be one of the world’s wealthiest), was left a widow at the age most people retire and who worked for three decades more to give away the fortune she inherited as effectively as possible: establishing a museum here, a hospital there, a medical school or two (or simply helping already-existing museums, hospitals, and schools to expand and serve their communities better), endowing arts organizations, throwing holiday festivals year after year for an entire city, and serving on the boards of such prestigious international organizations as the Asia Society when she died at 95.

Only one got an obituary in The New York Times: but which one?

Sometimes you can get the wrong impression from a newspaper, even though every word, number, punctuation mark and photo it prints might be true and accurate (the same holds true for TV, radio, online and other media, and the office gossip, for that matter). Take The New York Times, for example. Its famous motto is “all the news that’s fit to print,” which is catchy but as absolutely impossible as the newsradio refrain “all the news you need to know.” There aren’t enough trees on the planet to print “all the news that’s fit” in a single 24-hour period, let alone a daily basis. And no broadcast, no publication, no method, nobody can give you “all the news you need” about anything. Most of the news gets left out. Always.

So, wrong impressions. If, like me, you are in the habit of reading the Times’s obituary section regularly, you might get the impression that the Big Apple is a particularly dangerous place for elderly white people with notable accomplishments, because such a high percentage of those whose passing is noticed are of that particular demographic group. I remember a consultant brought in by a California newspaper I worked for, who looked over a few weeks’ worth of issues and gave the editors his assessment: “Nobody’s ever born here, nobody ever dies, but they do seem to get married and divorced a lot, and if they can avoid the divorce, they might get a nice write-up for their anniversary.”

After paying the consultant’s hefty bill, the editors added birth announcements and death notices to the newspaper’s regular features. About the same time, we had another consultant who told the reporters we should all write like John McPhee. a very thorough, wordy Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer for The New Yorker magazine. I like McPhee’s work, but that particular suggestion brought back memories of my first day as a reporter when an editor took the story I’d written — the roll of newsprint it was typed on was longer than I am tall — and literally ripped off the bottom half and threw it away. I don’t know if McPhee could survive in an environment like that.

So which life earned a Times obituary?

No, not Virginia Kettering. Even though more than two dozen North American newspapers picked up and ran her obit from the AP wire’s regular roundup, “Obituaries in the News,” for some reason The New York Times, which wants us all to think of it as “the newspaper of record,” found the Cinderella philanthropist beneath its notice, while granting Johnny “Take This Job and Shove It” Paycheck a two-web-pages-plus-photo sendoff.

Perhaps it was just an oversight, you might think. I did: that’s why I e-mailed them, called them, even dug out an envelope and stamp and mailed them a letter about it. That’s exactly what I did last year when they failed to note the passing of my old friend Gene Goltz, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and numerous national awards and the only person who ever got away with calling me a “wench.” The Times finally did run an obit for Goltz, staff-written at that, and I’m still hoping they’ll reconsider this one, too.

Their phone recording said they might react in some way if I wasn’t contacting them as part of an organized campaign. So if you decide to write to or call 1-888-NYT-NEWS or send a letter to:
The New York Times
229 W. 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036
then please do so in a disorganized way so they won’t ignore you.

So who wrote Johnny Paycheck’s hit “Take This Job and Shove It?”
The first person to e-mail me at with the correct answer will win a free copy of the Bohemian Hillbillies CD Once Removed, plus the glory of being mentioned here.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:34 PM



Today's addition is a hit counter, available free from SiteMeter

This is one of their simple versions. They also have Javascript versions if you want to get fancier.

Tune in today, Sunday, February 23, 2003, at 10:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time to hear a few words from me on WYSO radio in Yellow Springs (Dayton), Ohio, USA, 91.3 FM, or listen online here

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @8:09 AM


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