>> >> journal
palo alto trees



the four universal graphs

the unseen apollo 11

post-postmodern computing

german WWI grave designs

kopfschmerzen decaf

This is my 2002 journal.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Also available: 2003 2001 2000 1990s 1980s

Everything on this page:
Copyright 1985-2002 by Thane Plambeck, except where obviously not.
30 December 2002
Financial restructuring, without the bitter aftertaste

An amusing ad from The Economist.

30 December 2002
Hopper the Rabbit

A story by Cole Plambeck (age 7).

24 December 2002
The Holiday Season

Cole (age 7) started to write a letter to Santa but couldn't think of anything to ask for.

Gloria: Well, what do you want?
Cole: Wait—I'm trying to think of commercials I've seen on TV...

22 December 2002
Double Salchow

Watching figure skating on TV:
Thane: Is that Kristi Yamaguchi? She looks taller, somehow.
Gloria: Yes. It is probably her short skirt. That is not Michelle Kwan.
Thane: Ah—so Michelle Kwan has a different name than Kristi Yamaguchi?

21 December 2002
Plan Ahead

The next total solar eclipse will occur on 23 November 2003.

It's in Antarctica.

At least it's the summer season. The hotels are probably booked.

13 December 2002
The Crime of Punishment (1968)

Walter Menninger, ca 2000

Here's a good book to read:

The Crime of Punishment
By Karl Menninger
305 pp. New York, Viking Press, 1968.

You'll have to look for at the library or somewhere online that deals in used books (Amazon does, via "zShops"). I found my copy in a fourth floor lobby of the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas and read the whole thing in two nights.

About two years ago, I exchanged some email with Walter Menninger (pictured above, and the nephew of "Dr Karl"), at that time the director of the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. He told me that practically everyone in his family (seemingly) attended Stanford University at one time or another.

Here's the recently announced fate of the The Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas:
TOPEKA, Kans. [December 4, 2002] -- The Menninger Clinic announced today that its Boards of Directors and Trustees unanimously approved a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital to create a comprehensive, world-class center for psychiatric care, research, and education...
And here's an article I found on the web about an earlier attempt to find a place for the Menninger Clinic amidst today's increasingly technological approach to mental illness:
Menningers settle family feud over control of Dr. Karl's archives

1:25 a.m.
By Steve Fry
The [Topeka] Capital-Journal

Less than two months after a judge ordered two factions of the Menninger family to attend conflict resolution, the two sides settled a dispute about who controls the archives of the family widely known for its work in psychiatry. The lawsuit began in July when one of Dr. Karl A. Menninger's adult children sued the Menninger Foundation and related organizations to prevent her father's archives from being transferred to Texas, where the mental health organization had planned to move.

Shawnee County District Judge Charles Andrews issued a restraining order, keeping the archives in Topeka. The order prohibited the Menninger Foundation and Menninger Clinic from moving the archives without the written consent of the representative of the Dr. Karl A. Menninger family or without an order from Andrews.

On Oct. 2, Andrews warned the two sides they were headed for years of litigation. Andrews ordered them to mediate the case, giving them 60 days to resolve the problem.

In a letter filed Nov. 1 in Shawnee County District Court, Gerald Goodell, a Topeka attorney, said mediation on Oct. 30 was "successful." Goodell represents Dr. Walter Menninger, who was the chief executive officer of Menninger when the lawsuit started, and Karl A. Menninger II, grandson of Dr. Karl A. Menninger.

"I can't really say anything more than what is in that letter," Goodell said Tuesday when asked for specific terms of the agreement. Rosemary J. Menninger, who filed the lawsuit and is one of four adult children of the late Dr. Karl A. Menninger, declined on Monday to give specifics of the agreement.

According to the letter, the lawsuit is to be dismissed. The two sides are ironing out the written settlement agreement.

"As soon as that is done, everything will be made public," Goodell said. Jerry R. Palmer, a Topeka lawyer, mediated the case.

The dispute in court began July 19 when Rosemary Menninger sought to block moving her father's archives from Topeka to the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston along with the rest of the Menninger archives. She based her authority on an agreement signed by Walt Menninger in 1992 giving Dr. Karl Menninger's heirs some rights to the archives.

The Menninger organization wanted to move the archives to Houston as part of a proposed alliance, but by July 31, the proposed move had fallen through.

Rosemary Menninger, of Topeka, contended that she was the designated Menninger family representative. In his letter, an attorney representing Walt Menninger asked for documentation signed by the majority of Rosemary Menninger's siblings, making her the designated family representative.

An attorney representing Rosemary Menninger said Jeanetta Lyle Menninger, Dr. Karl's widow, was the family representative until she died, then Rosemary took over. She said Rosemary Menninger was made family representative "by common consent. She has kept all the family members notified."

But other Menninger family members contended the family representative was Karl A. Menninger II, of Petersburg, Ill., son of Dr. Robert G. Menninger and grandson of Dr. Karl Menninger. That document showed that Dr. Karl Menninger's other three adult children, Julia M. Gottesman, of Sierra Madre, Calif., Martha M. Nichols, of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Robert G. Menninger, of Topeka, had signed an agreement making Karl II the family representative.

The family archives include 14 boxes from Dr. C.F. Menninger, co-founder of Menninger; more than 180 boxes of Dr. Karl's materials; 129 boxes of Dr. William C. Menninger's materials; five boxes of Edwin A. Menninger's materials; 82 boxes of Dr. Roy Menninger's materials; six boxes of Dr. Walt Menninger's materials; five boxes of Flora Knisley Menninger's materials; and 21 boxes of Catharine Wright Menninger's materials.
Here you read of the troubles of a great American institution (and family) as it tries to recast itself for the future. In fact, the announced partnership with Baylor and Methodist Hospital went through after all (although the terms weren't disclosed). The 500 acre Menninger Clinic property in Topeka, KS will be sold and all its (willing) staff will move to Texas in June 2003.

The lesson? It's extremely difficult to create an institution that survives the genius of its founders. The Menninger Clinic was started in 1925. It's continuing in Texas, but likely in a much changed form (although I really don't know anything about it first hand).

Examples of lasting institutions:

The United States of America, the Jesuits, the Royal Society,...

One of the most untruthful things possible, you know, is a collection of facts, because they can be made to appear so many different ways.

—Dr. Karl Menninger

12 December 2002
In the Audience

Bowling for Columbine
Film by Michael Moore. Aquarius Theatre, Palo Alto. 10pm showing.
The large diet Pepsi kept me up until 2am after I got home.

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Adagio CÚleste
Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor, opus 64
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Midori as soloist for the Mendelssohn.
Mikko Franck, Conductor

They played Sibelius too, but I cut and ran at the intermission—Finnish unfinished.

Christmas 2002
Owen's preschool concert. I videotaped "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."

Untitled Dance
Cole performs handstands, round-offs and cartwheels to music I improvise on a synthesizer set to "Harpsichord."

6 December 2002
Jeff Ullman Symposium

In this photo, I'm telling a story at the Stanford faculty club about Joe Jonah Euclid and my PhD advisor, Jeffrey D. Ullman, (far right) on the occasion of his 60th birthday (and retirement from Stanford).

Inderpal Mumick, Ron Fagin, and Kwong Yung also appear in the (first) picture.

Another photo: I'm talking to Kwong Yung.

3 December 2002
The Bleeding Was All Inside

In January 1972, in a scene straight out of "Frankie and Johnny," trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot dead by his mistress at Slug's, a jazz club on New York City's Lower East Side. Morgan was thirty-three years old. His death—spectacular in jazz not so much because he was young as because it involved a woman instead of drugs—is remembered thus by one of his closest musical associates: "For years Lee had been with Helen [More], an older woman—maybe ten years older than him—who sort of looked after him and had straightened him out a little, helped him stay away from dope. A few weeks before his death, Lee had started hanging out with a younger girl, very pretty; she looked like Angela Davis. He was taking her all over town, showing her off to his friends. One day he dropped by the school in Harlem where I was teaching jazz workshops and introduced her to all of us.

"That night in January was one of the coldest nights of the year. It was about five degrees below zero, and Lee was relaxing between sets at the bar with this fine new girlfriend of his when Helen walked in. She came up to him, but lee didn't want to be bothered and he walked her over to a table, sat her down, and told her to wait. Then he went back to the bar. After a while, she came up to him again. This time Lee took her by the shoulders and, without her overcoat or anything, marched her over to the door and put her out in the cold. Now she had Lee's pistol in her pocketbook, and when she came back in she pulled it out and shot him: one of those shots that go straight to the heart. A little red stain came up on his shirt—the bleeding was all inside—and a few minutes later he was dead. Then she realized what had happened and she was crying and hanging over him and screaming—'Mogie'—that was what she called him—'What have I done?' But he was dead.
David H Rosenthal, Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music, 1955-1965, Oxford University Press, 1992

3 December 2002


Owen (age 4), after seeing his (next year) kindergarten teacher:
Owen: "And I already know Kindergarten Math!" (skips away proudly).
But then, after the teacher is gone:
Owen: (Pausing) "Mama, do I know Kindergarten Math?"
Gloria: "Let's see, what is zero plus five?"
Owen: "Five!" (resumes skipping).


Putting away dishes:
Gloria: "But that's not where that goes..."
Thane: "But that is where it went..."

Bumper sticker at the corner of Oregon Expressway & El Camino Real:

1 December 2002
An Amazing Optical Illusion (1995)

Using an "eyedropper" in a computer painting program, I verified that the squares A and B are indeed exactly the same shade of gray. Try squinting at it while holding your hands up so that all you can see is a narrow strip of the picture that includes the squares A and B.

For conclusive proof, print out the picture and cut out the diamond shapes of the "A" and "B" squares.