The Final Curtain

16 May 2008
Well, dear readers, my dissertation is almost completed. It will be done by the end of the month. I suspect that this will mean the final completion of this blog (I know that sounds odd, but it's the blog has been in a "semi-completed" state since I left Brno), barring the odd update from time to time when I'm in the CR. I hope that, if there are any regular readers left, you have enjoyed it all. I may publicize it here if I start a new blog. At the moment, I still update my links, which you can find syndicated at the bottom of the right-hand column.

Czech Phil Plays On!

22 February 2008
On the music side of things, on which my comments have been thin recently, there's been a development at the Czech Philharmonic. Rosie Johnston reported on Czech Radio about the new music director:
The Czech Philharmonic has a new conductor. As of 2009, the orchestra which was first conducted by Antonín Dvořák over a century ago will hand the baton over to the Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal. (More)

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Czechs in Space, and Other Trivia

21 February 2008
Did you know that you can find out what Czechs have in common with other nations by visiting the "official Website" of the CR (

Learn such valuable information as:

What do Czechs have in common ... with Americans?

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush included Jaromír Vejvoda’s song Škoda lásky
along with a photograph of the composer in his presidential library. In 1995, the Czech song was used to as a wakeup alarm for the astronauts on board the Discovery space shuttle.

I'm so amazed.

The Economists, Stupid!

11 February 2008
The Czech presidential elections roll on into their second week, as Petr discusses.

I'd just like to point out that one is a University of Michigan professor. Go Blue!

From an American p.o.v., one would think that there would be less deadlock when there is not a nationwide election, yes? Then you would be wrong. Even though the Czech parliament has only 281 votes to count, there is still no winner. They're going into the third vote, which will happen later this week.

Both candidates are economists.

Still Here

08 February 2008
Another month, another chapter or two drafted. That's all for now.

Well, not completely "all," since it is probably significant that I have made it past "Paczki Day" (our local southeastern Michigan nod to Polish pre-Lenten customs) without significant artery cloggage (I hope). You may be familiar with these by another name in the Czech Republic, but I guarantee that they were delicious in Michigan, as Kitchen Chick attests. Fortunately for Ann Arborites, there is a wonderful "European" restaurant (it's actually more Polish) called Amadeus that made paczki again this year. The remaining challenge is, "how do we pronounce it?" (Americanized, Czech-like, or in the Polish manner, listen here.)

My goal now is to give up procrastination Lent. :-)

More about paczki at wikipedia.

More on Fieldwork

07 January 2008
Fieldwork must certainly rank with the more disagreeable activities that humanity has fashioned for itself. It is usually inconvenient, . . . sometimes physically uncomfortable, frequently embarrassing, and, to a degree, always tense.

William B. shaffir, Robert A. Stebbins, and Allan Turowetz, eds., Fieldwork Experience: Qualitative Approaches to Social Research (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980), p. 3.

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Pensieve pro Presidentials?

19 December 2007
This is a worldview that detests anger as a motivating force, that distrusts easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, believing instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual.

David Brooks writing in the NYTimes about Barack Obama's personality.