Category: Life

Reunion Tower 2

Meditations on Reunion Tower

Every great city needs a landmark, like the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Space Needle or the Gateway Arch. All of these monuments evoke their host cities in any context. Here in...

Dollar Sign Through Earth 1

A Trip to the World Bank

It all started with the commencement ceremony in May 2000. The keynote speaker was James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, an international agency that provides loans to developing countries. Our normally apathetic campus...

Monopoly Home History 8

No Place Like Home

When people ask me where I’m from, I never quite know what to say. I was born in St. Louis but I grew up in Illinois. I went to high school and college in...

Tom Bombadil and Jar Jar Binks in "Bad Boys 8" 9

Creativity and Compromise

We generally think of creativity as something that should never be compromised. There’s a kernel of truth to this, as many good idea have been squashed and perverted by faceless bureaucrats. Likewise, trying to...

Needs Moar Franziskaner 2

Tales of Addison Oktoberfest

Every year, my friends and I go to the Oktoberfest in Addison, Texas. Addison is a suburb north of Dallas that contains a gazillion bars and restaurants. Addison Oktoberfest is big, taking up almost...

Pill Bottle with Dice 6

Pascal’s Wager and Happiness

Are you familiar you Pascal’s Wager? French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal said that even if you doubt the existence of God, you should be religious just in case He exists. Why? Because if...

Generic Beer Label 13

The Beer Revolution

Beer drinking sure has changed since I was a kid. No, I didn’t drink beer back then (though I did drink coffee). But beer marketing is very pervasive, and even at a young age,...

Railroad sign on fire 4

The Railroad Crossing From Hell

For a while my family lived in a small town named East Carondelet, Illinois. We lived in a little farmhouse several miles out of town, and we had to drive on a scary levee road...

Starbucks sippy cup 15

Drinking Coffee as a Kid

I invented Starbucks as a kid. Okay, not really, but I wonder if I could’ve. Back in the 1980s, before gourmet cafes became all the rage, I liked to mix up elaborate drinks. Sometimes...

Dallas Logo with Question Mark 13

Dallas: An Improbable City

Dallas is an improbable city. In many ways it seems to have sprung up by accident. No Navigable River Unlike most major cities, Dallas does not have a navigable river. The Trinity River is...