Amazon store experience

I tried out the Amazon@StateCollege store/pickup location on Sunday. It was a neat experience. Basically, Amazon has created a really attractive, well located, and efficient version of the post office—or at least, a better version of P.O. boxes. How did it work? I ordered a Moleskin notebook earlier in the week, and chose Amazon@StateCollege as…

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Union Cemetery scenes

I mentioned over the weekend that I visited Bellefonte’s Union Cemetery while in Centre County, Pennsylvania. It’s an old cemetery, with the first burial around 1808, in a town founded in 1795. Its most prominent gravesites, to my thinking, are Evan Pugh (Penn State’s first president), Rebecca Valentine (Evan’s wife), James Beaver (Pennsylvania governor and…

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UPUA Alumni Weekend

As a sophomore at Penn State, I served in the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA)’s First Assembly. The UPUA, Penn State’s student government, was reorganized in that year—though student government at Penn State originated sometime around 1910, though I forget the precise date. This year’s 12th Assembly organized the first UPUA Alumni Weekend, and it…

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Rathskeller’s closing

I wrote last month about the All-American Rathskeller in State College. Herlocher’s, the new owners of the Foster Building (in which the Skeller is located) failed to come to agreement on a lease renewal with Duke Gastinger, the Skeller’s owner. The Skeller, opened 1933, was the oldest bar in State College and one of the…

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Bellefonte scenes

I spent some time visiting Bellefonte, and paying a visit to Evan and Rebecca Valentine Pugh’s gravesite in Union Cemetery, while in Centre County. Bellefonte is a beautiful Victorian-style community. It gave rise to many governors in the 19th century, and at one time was a contender to become Pennsylvania’s capital city. I’ll share some…

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Pop’s 91st birthday

John Albert Shakely, my grandfather, would be 91 today. An adventurer, soldier, Penn Stater, geologist, sailor, wildcatter, and teacher, Pop was a humble, heroic man in my childhood life, the sort of person who teaches a boy how to be a man without ever sitting him down to give him a lesson. Requiescat in pace.…

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Adulthood and competence

Jordan Peterson’s BBC 4 interview has made the rounds recently. Dr. Peterson’s commentary on adulthood, power, and competence was striking. Dr. Peterson: There’s nothing uglier than an old infant. Nothing good about it. People who don’t grow up don’t find the sort of meaning in their life that sustains them through difficult times, and they…

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Professional user manuals

David Politis’s LinkedIn post on creating a “professional user manual” caught my attention somehow recently, and I thought the basic concept for a public and transparent personal “user manual” was interesting and worth considering. You write out short answers to a set of key questions that give anyone who has to work with you insight…

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Tom Stevens

As I wrote about in September, Edel Finnegan left the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia after more than 12 years as Executive Director. I’m now in my seventh year on the board of the Pro-Life Union, and proud of a lot of what we’ve accomplished, particularly the acquisition and build-out of Guiding Star maternity home.…

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National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Today marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which the White House is marking with its clear and compassionate National Sanctity of Human Life Day proclamation: Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in…

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