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February 14, 2012

The Secret History of the Sword

When I was a young lad in Berlin, we had no such thing. But thanks to the tireless efforts of Nestlé and Fleurop, even my German compatriots are now encouraged to buy candy and flowers, and purchase a sappy, raunchy or—they say—even classy card on Valentine’s Day.

Nothing wrong with that.

So why not throw in a tender yet timeless story about this festive occasion into the FencingClassics mix.

A word of caution: We have no idea where the author got the notion that things can happen that way. He sounds credible.

Happy Valentine’s Day, you crazy kids.

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German Trifecta: “Der deklassierende Trainingsanzug”

December 22, 2011

Three’s a charm, I thought. So here’s the last old Trader’s Daily sketch for today, this one published Jan. 25, 2005, when my oldest son Max was 11 and my daughter Sophie a tender not-quite-six… and I was cultivating my rediscovered coolness as a competitive fencer.

Those were the days. Read more…

Trader’s Daily: “Alte Mädchen und Zugvögel”

December 22, 2011

Another piece that I did for Trader’s Daily, this one on Jan. 16, 2006.

Part of my intent with my column was to present the all-knowing cosmopolitan German reader with the perspective of the resident expat—not the superficial expertise so easily acquired by a three-week trip from Manhattan to Miami to San Francisco.

Many of my German readers didn’t like this at all. Read more…

Nostalgie Pur: “Ein Stück Heimat”

December 22, 2011

This piece first appeared in Michael Vaupel’s Trader’s Daily on Dec. 2, 2004, when Verlag Norman Rentrop was syndicating various financial products we were publishing.

And yes, since it’s a German publication, it’s written in German. So unless you speak it—Pech gehabtRead more…

November is NaNoWriMo

November 1, 2011

Last night, at 12:01 AM, the starting shot was fired for this year’s NaNoWriMo competition. As you all know that’s short and snappy for National Novel Writing Month—a self-induced, self-inflicted deadline to hammer out 50,000 before the month is over…


Read more…

Bibliomania: The Life and Times of my Library

October 5, 2011

Every year, thousands gather for various Book Festivals all over the country.

Ask any one of them and you might find that that person’s latent lifetime ambition is to add a ream of perfect-bound, printed paper to the exponentially growing mountain of books in the world.

But times are a’changing. Books no longer are what they used to be. Neither are private libraries. Read more…

Clara Van Gerven: “An Experiment”

September 14, 2011

A man at a table scribbling in a notebook. A girl passed out next to him. A double-breasted man doing, what, calisthenics? What could be going on here?

Baltimore writer Clara Van Gerven knows… and has provided the first entry into Talking Camel Contest #2… Read more…