Dogs in the City

Judy, the dogs, and I enjoyed yesterday’s gorgeous late-summer weather on a walk along the Esplanade from Kenmore Square to the Public Garden, then back through the city. At least 15 people stopped us to ask “what kind of dogs are they?” (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.  Tollers, for short.) We stopped for coffee at the Newbury Street Starbucks near Mass. Ave, where Chordially Yours, a female a cappella group from BU, serenaded passersby, human and canine. The dogs know the location; a now-graduated dog sitter used to take them to the adjacent JP Licks for ice cream, buying a small dish for each to eat on the sidewalk. They got no ice cream from us.

Great BU News

BU Today reported this week that Boston University “received an unprecedented $89.5 million from donors in the fiscal year ending June 30, making it the second record-breaking year in a row.”  The article also reports that “the number of alumni donors jumped 12%,” a record amount was donated to the General Fund, and “a record number of donors in the Class of 2011 gave to their Class Gift campaign.”  This is fantastic news.  BU’s historic lack of alumni giving and engagement have contributed to the University having a lower-ranked reputation than it merits. When Bob Brown spoke to the SMG faculty shortly after becoming president I asked him he planned to increase BU’s alumni giving.  He said that investing in the University’s people, plant, and programs would lead to the increased giving and engagement, that they are effects of improvements in all of those areas.  Looks like he was right.  Every current and former student should applaud this news.

Love Hurts

Dock removal last September was uneventful.  Dock removal yesterday was a bitch.  The lake bed’s clay refused to give up the dock posts. We couldn’t pull most of the posts through their brackets because when we drove them into the lake bed they mushroomed from hitting rocks, which required maneuvering the dock sections close enough to shore to cut off the damaged sections with a Sawz-All. Two of the sections pulled away from the Maine dock while still attached to their posts and we had to pull the posts out from the submerged sections.  I was wrestling with one post in chest-deep water when my ring finger was caught between the steel post and dock frame.  I couldn’t free it as the submerged dock section rose to the surface and I felt my wedding ring being crushed against my finger as the rising dock dragged the finger upward along the post, still stuck in the lake bed.  I was about to call for Nate’s help when the ring flattened enough to free my hand.  At first glance I thought the crushed ring cut off circulation to my finger, which was white and hurt like hell.  It hadn’t. With the help of dishwashing liquid I was able to squeeze the ring past my knuckle.  No permanent damage to finger or ring, which the jeweler said she can re-form. (The dock caused the ring to go from a circle to an oval, not changing the photo’s relative dimensions.)

Another Frustrated Federal Judge

This week’s fruit of judicial frustration–and lesson to litigators–is  from Judge Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Judge Sparks ordered counsel to a “kindergarten party” at the federal courthouse in Austin to learn “many exciting and informative lessons” including “[a]n advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge and his staff because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first year law student.” The WSJ Law Blog reports today that Judge Sparks canceled the kindergarten party because the parties were able to settle. I’d settle too if the alternative was judicial core-reaming in open court.

We’ve Got the Power

Early yesterday afternoon Central Maine Power restored electric service to our camp 96 hours after Tropical Storm Irene knocked it out.  I had just left an Incoming Students’ Parents’ Orientation (too many modifiers) Lunch when the answering machine responded to my fourth phone call to the camp in five hours.  Answering machine responding = live electric power.  I called again to query our alarm system, just to hear its robotic voice say “the power is on.”  Great news, since Nate was hosting friends for dinner at the camp last night and we have a houseful of guests arriving from Florida at midnight tonight.