Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sailing to Philadelphia II–To the Market

On the second day of my trip we (husband and I) decided to go see the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, both a few blocks away from the hotel. Before heading to the place where the United States was born, we decided to grab a bite at the Reading Terminal Market.   The Reading Terminal Market (RTM) reminded me a lot of The Eastern Market near Capitol Hill in DC. The Eastern Market was one of my favorite places hangout when we lived in the area.  It was also a stop on my DC  tour for any out of town visitors.  The crab cakes and the home made root beer  at Market Lunch alone make the visit worthwhile.  The hustle bustle and  the energy of these older market places is infectious.  RTM was crowded that Saturday, lots of tourists, couples and families with small children, just hanging out, enjoying  a leisurely morning, shopping and eating.

Speaking of food, there were many food choices, almost too many to choose from.   We took a brisk tour of the place, and had a  brunch at Beck’s Cajun Café.  I wanted to spend some more time at the market, so we planned to return at the end of the day.  After our trip to the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  On our second visit to the market that day, we got some homemade cheese and cured meats from at the Hatville Deli, one of the many Pennsylvania Dutch  shops at the Market. We also picked up some bread, cookies and  grainy mustard at the market, to eat later on the train ride back home.  We also stopped by a the Tubby Olive, you can sample the olive oil here, a bit like wine tasting but not as much fun.  We wanted eat a  sandwich at  DiNic’s , but it was too crowded and I was tired from walking all day.  Both its roast pork and roast beef sandwiches are famous and had come highly recommended by friends who had been to Philly. Definitely, something to do on my next trip.  Coming up next, the highlight of the tour, a visit to the place where the US was birthed.

Immigration Reform and Boston

The Senate began hearings on the immigration reform bill today.  Bashing immigrants legal and otherwise has been a small cottage industry for right wing demagogues for quite a while now.  The Boston incident has given the opponents of reform  a good excuse to jettison the whole bill.   Let the immigrant bashing begin.  Facts are optional.


Senator Charles Grassley last week linked the Boston bombing suspects to the fate of immigration legislation — and now immigration-reform supporters are lashing out.

We should slow down reform, the Iowa Republican said, to make sure we are properly screening for terrorists. “Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system,” Grassley said. “While we don’t yet know the immigration status of people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”

If facts are important to you, check out Greg Siskind’s blog for detailed summary of the bill.   His blog  both factual and informative.  Since he is an immigration lawyer, he is more knowledgeable than your average reporter about the dense thicket of  immigration related issues.

ETA: A reader asked me to explain why I thought Grassley was wrong. First of all, we now know the immigration status of the two perpetrators. One was a permanent resident and the other was a naturalized citizen. To become a naturalized citizen one has to go through  background checks twice, once whilst becoming a permanent resident and again when applying for citizenship. And the system obviously worked since the older Tsarnev’s application for citizenship was still pending due to his brush with the FBI earlier. Also how can background checks protect against crimes that have yet to be committed? When they became permanent residents they were nine and sixteen, with clean records.  But Grassley could not wait to rush to judgment without knowing all the details.

The Times, they are a-changing, Software and Information Technology, 2003-2013

By 2003,  the dot com boom had turned to a bust.  Although, Y2K had come and gone without any major catastrophe, there was a general wariness in the air.  Apple had launched its first I-Pod and was on the way to making a comeback, while Microsoft with its operating system and the Office Suite software was dominant in the software arena.  Dell was selling PCs by the boat load and  My Space had just been launched.  Google had not gone public  yet and Nokia was the coveted cellphone brand.

Fast forward to 2013,  Apple is a huge success story and everyone either has an I-phone or wants one. Microsoft is still huge but  clearly not as dominant as it once was.  Google has gone from an upstart to a behemoth industry leader.  I have not seen anyone with a Nokia phone in many years.  Dell has gone private while Facebook has left MySpace in dust.

I am going to do a series of a blog posts on these changes over the past decade, starting with Microsoft.  I will also look at Google and Apple,   and the rise of social media and cellphones that can do everything, but walk your dog.  I will also look at evolution of the internet and the worldwide web, the open source movement and peer to peer networking. I may include other topics, that I discover along the way and have left out of the list right now.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.