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Hmmm... just how personal do you think I'm going to get on a web page, eh? ;-)

Fun stuff

I've become a foodie! I learn a lot at egullet.org, I read history books about individual food items (several by Mark Kurlansky), I seek out at least one new food or coffee experience in any place I travel to, i.e. finding the Clover in the Boston area, siphon coffee in Homer, NY, or quail with a fois gras cornmeal stuffing in Rochester, NY. My friends now are almost all foodies. Oh, I love to cook, too, using my own home-grown vegetables and herbs when possible, and as much locally produced, organic food as I can get. Dave and I have opened our own food blog, Chus On Chow, and I'm the webmaster for Community Supported Agriculture CNY, Slow Food CNY and Swimm Landscaping. I have some ideas about a culinary apprenticeship program in Syracuse, too.

But none of this keeps me from sprouting like a bad weed from my grass roots to do what I can to facilitate Eastwood's economic development along sustainable lines, in concert with its James Street Overlay District Guidelines. Tons of posts about that and other Eastwood doings at Walkable Eastwood.

For some of the best language fun on the web, see this Japanese Engrish site. Dig down into the picture files, it gets better and better.

And while we're on the subject, see these Amazing English Sentences.

You'll find this elsewhere on this site, but it's as much fun as it is serious: Taboo language for learners of English - links and ideas.

I just love The Answer Machine. In 1964, the personal computer as we know it and many of the functions we enjoy was already envisioned.

Lonnie - 2008

Homeschooling your kid? Take time for A Revolutionary War Weekend. I did this with my kid. He went on to become a chef (as far as he could get from history). 

How about a different take on "patriotic" ambition. Did you know Americans have invaded Canada and have maintained plans to do so? The last actual raids into Canada took place as late as the Civil War era: The Fenian Raids.

I like...

...just about anything having to do with the Spanish language and the people who speak it. After three years of practicing it and three of not practicing it, I've given up trying to understand the Sevillana - a flamenco dance. (Picture of Lonnie in costume)

However... I love dancing to the Latin rock sounds of Grupo Pagán.  It's Syracuse's only crossover band, with a sound ranging from Santana to Gloria Estefan and others. I also like quieter pursuits, such as gardening.

I also invest in property in Syracuse.  I am the owner/online forum moderator for the email groups for real estate investors at REI online GROUPS. A little involvement with public art is always fun, too. 

Park(ing) Day, 2007
Davd on guitar, unknown particpant on bongos, Lonnie cleverly clapping

I like... open-minded people who share my vision of empowering people to do wonderful things with their own talents. My passion: transforming education through the power of authentic experience, both on-line and off.

But I love...

... my best friend and husband, step-dad to my kids, David Chu, programmer/analyst, professional musician, NSCA certified personal trainer, blogger.  "Wind beneath my wings" says it all...

Dave and Lonnie got married on February 16, 2001.   

Dave plays the Carrier Dome, April 25, 2006            

David Chu

... and I also love... (Here it comes!) my kids!

Scott, is an outgoing, energetic 23-year-old who long ago switched from collecting belts in karate to collecting knives - chef's knives! His passion and his work: cooking.  His reading material: Anthony Bourdain, Michael Ruhlman, and The Professional Chef. He worked in restaurants all over the Syracuse area, including perennial favorites Santangelo's and Pastabilities.  In 2008 he graduated for the second time from the  the Culinary Institute of America; his degrees are in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts.  He phones to tell us about (torture us with) all the delicious meals he's having.  He gave New York City the ol' college try but is now out in California where the weather is better and the lifestyle is a bit more sane! He's working both as a waiter and as a line cook at Piatti Ristorante & Bar in Montecito, CA, and is enjoying it greatly.  (Scott's website: scottturbee.com)

January, 2006:  Scott is doing his externship at Terra in the Napa Valley.  He'll be there until May.  This restaurant is owned by Chef Hiro Sone, named "Best California Chef" in 2003 by the James Beard Foundation, and Chef Lissa Doumani, who was hired by Wolfgang Puck to work under chef and baker Nancy Silverton at Spago.  She and Chef Sone launched Terra in November of 1988.  See some pictures of Scott's work here.

May, 2006:  Scott's back at the Hyde Park CIA, studying nutrition and restaurant law, among other things.  Dave took a Saturday class and learned a lot about Asian cooking.  Scott and I just came for the stupendous lunch this class put out. 

January, 2007:  Scott has graduated from the Culinary Insitute of America, making us all very proud of him.  He is back at the CIA, now in the Baking and Pastry Arts program.  As Chef Anita Eisenhauer told us one busy night in the kitchen of the American Bounty Restaurant, "there are not a lot who can 'cross over' from culinary to pastry."

July, 2007: Scott's in California again, this time for his baking and pastry externship at Della Fattoria bakery in Petaluma, California.  This is not far north of San Francisco, and not far south of St. Helena where he was last year.  He regularly works with over 2000 pounds of bread per day. It looks like we're going to have a master bread baker in the family.

Scott eating chicken foot in Mexico
Scott eating a delicious chicken foot with hot sauce, Mexico, 1996
Scott and Chef Erway
Scott with mentor and Job Corps teacher, the incomparable Chef Eric Erway (also of the CIA), to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.  August, 2005

Mike, 30, aka Kipp, is the one who did all the deep-level programming on MundoHispano. In fact, he built so many MOOs, I lost track. He's way past his multi-media Cold Paradigm Virtual Interactive Community (VIC) by now (it supported PuebloLindo, a multi-media Internet-based immersion experience for learners of Spanish). His work in this area was a precursor to virtual worlds like Second Life

A pioneer in the design of mini-micro remote controlled airplanes (sub-ounce!), he has also done a lot of work for JR Clancy - his programming is the magic behind "SceneControl: The magic behind automated rigging".  He regularly goes to the largest theaters in the country to do installs or upgrades. His main job, however, is as a software system analyst at Welch Allyn, an "internationally-recognized manufacturer of innovative medical diagnostic equipment and therapeutic devices" where his programming and development skills can be most fully utilized. 

For fun, he's developing an electric motorcycle. At the moment (April, 2009) he "needs help from a machine shop for the motor design on an electric motorcycle."

His wonderful wife, Ruth, a perfect intellectual match for him, long ago took over my job of getting him out the door on time.  Their son, Drew Alexander Mudge, is very much the "little professor", just like his dad was, with highly advanced verbal expression and cognitive abilities. He could describe the physics of flight at age two and started programming when he was eight. Currently he's working on getting certified to dive. His mom is the lead teacher in his homeschooling program. 

Mike, Ruth, Drew 2006
Mike, Ruth, Drew - 2006
Leo - Mike's Sun Conure
Leo, the funniest bird alive (Mike's Sun Conure)
The family in 2009. 

Last but not least...

An incomplete list of the good folks who inspire me, put up with me, and generally make living and working a joy:

Jan Cohen-Cruz, Director of Imagining America and professor at Syracuse University, and her equally fab hubby, Dionisio Cruz, now a consultant to the Gifford Foundation in Syracuse. We knew we'd like them when it turned out that Dionisio and Dave were the only guys not wearing ties to a fancy function. 

Kate Clark, public arts commissioner in Syracuse, whose tireless work with city government, area artists and city residents is transforming the city from one of gray blandness to one of delightful art surprises just about anywhere you go. --> KATE, WE MISS YOU! Philadelphia is LUCKY! (2008)

Deb and Jeff Kinsler - co-foodies and guaranteed fun times, Deb is our patient and skilled accountant, foil to Jeff's non-stop comedic talents (he's an accomplished improv comic and certified hypnotherapist).

Dick Molitor, linguist (really!), mentor, and the person who supplied me with a paper copy of  "...OVERT GRAMMATICAL SUBJECTS" years ago when we shared an office, and then the electronic version which is in the page linked above.  Now... do you really want to know any more about him?

Greg Younger, Mr. Charm and Energy, my partner in crime at schMOOze University, many TESOL presentations, Dyvic Innovations, and TrainingOnline where he was briefly my (gulp!) boss!

Theresa Minick, the brilliant profe who is now the director of MundoHispano, and who cheerfully puts up with my consistent lack of personal RAM.

Helmut Brammerts, the inspiring co-ordinator of the International E-Mail Tandem Network.


Dave plays the Carrier Dome, April 26, 2006

Dave plays Carrier Dome

Dave plays Carrier Dome

"The school must represent life-life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground."
- John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed, 1897
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Last updated 12/14/09