I’m Back

Major thanks to George for all the interesting posts while I was away on vacation. If I wrote that much meaty stuff relating to my work … this blog would be work.

While in one sense this break was a true vacation — I had lousy internet access and didn't even try to work except for the last couple days when I went to a meeting in Geneva — it was also more prone to minor disasters and discomforts than any family vacation in recent memory. These included a 24 hour airline delay, the airline losing my luggage, the airline computer choosing to delete my return reservation for no good reason (see a pattern yet?), unpleasant issues with our rented accommodations, and of course the biggest heat wave in modern British and Swiss history (“Genève n'en finit pas de cuire” said the hoardings, and they had it right.)

The highlights of the London part of the trip were meeting old friends and seeing the new Tom Stoppard play, Rock and Roll, a superb production of a very good play. I also enjoyed going to the reconstructed Globe Theater for the first time, although the production of Anthony and Cleopatra was too much of the 'declaiming Shakespeare' type instead of the more naturalistic RSC-style 'acting Shakespeare' which I like best. Then again, maybe that's what you have to do in a big outdoor space like the Globe.

I'm not sure how much I'll plunge straight into high-volume blogging this week, especially as I will be in DC Wednesday and some of Thursday. I have to work on syllabi, pay bills, fight with the city about a permit, and of course catch up on back emails.

But meanwhile, following up on a loose end: My brother's column from July 20 straightens out the confusion about which S. Baker is who. The “Director of Lessons Learned” is not the Stewart Baker I was defending, but Stuart Baker:

Much was made last week of Stuart G. Baker's job title: Director of Lessons Learned. But it turns out his job is neither some sort of namby-pamby new agey thing, nor a stealth White House inspector general position telling everyone what they're doing wrong.

Instead, the title is an outgrowth of the White House's ” Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned ” report. And Baker, a detailee from the Department of Homeland Security who worked on that report, is now charged with coordinating the response to the report's recommendations.

So, as Emily Lattella used to say, “never mind”….

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