Friday, November 02, 2007

Left Hand, Meet the Right Hand

This is a pretty funny bulk e-mail I just received from CQ Press, the publisher of my book. As it turns out, yes, I am well aware that there is a new second edition! I can't wait to get my free copy!

Dear Professor Balla,

We’ve noticed that you have used Gormley and Balla’s Bureaucracy and Democracy in the past, and we wanted to make sure you were aware of the new edition, available for Spring classes.

If you’ll be teaching a class that uses this book in the Spring, please use the updated ISBN below when placing your order with the bookstore:

Bureaucracy and Democracy
, Second Edition,


Desk Copies

Printed books are available now. As a previous adopter, you should shortly be receiving your examination copy. To request additional desk copies, please reply back to this email with the following information:

Expected number of students;
Number of desk copies required.

Once we have received this information, your local representative will be in touch with the requested materials.

We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions about this book or any CQ Press product, you may reach us by simply replying to this email.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Divin' In

We are in the midst of a little concert season of sorts. First, it was Genesis. In a few weeks, it will be Springsteen and then Marillion (in Leeds!). In the interim, we had the chance to check out Steven Curtis Chapman, a Christian rocker whose songs Julie and Z have performed in choir.

Chapman gave a nice show, mixing songs from his new album This Moment with classics such as Dive (our family favorite). Along the way, he talked about the Change for Orphans campaign. Each night of the tour, volunteers fan out around the arena and collect donations in buckets. As Chapman puts it, "The money collected will show hope to an orphan each tour night by financially helping to provide a loving family forever." This comes from a guy who has been to China several times to adopt orphaned girls. Here is what he has said about those experiences:

"After our first trip to China, my wife and I knew our lives were changing—our eyes and hearts were opening to how big God really is, and we have wanted to experience more of that. We've really wondered whether or not we should just go to China and stay there. But I don't think so. I believe God is saying, 'I want you to go, get your heart broken, your eyes opened, and then take this story back to the church in America and around the world.'"

Sounds familiar, doesn't it Des?


You Gotta Support Your Boys

For many years now, the Duke football program has been mired in hard times. Often, the team has simply been outmatched when facing touch ACC competition. In other instances, the team has been competitive right to the end, but hasn't been able to pull out the victory.

It's especially in these kinds of times that it's important to stand by your school's athletes, so long as they bring distinction to the university both inside and outside the classroom. There is no doubt that three freshmen players did just that the other night when we bumped into them at Fat Daddy's (while I was in the midst of my pickle-fest).

The players--Cameron Jones, Colin Jones, and Bryan Morgan--were kind enough to spend a few minutes with Julie, Z, Dylan, Keith, and Kaylee (all of whom are big Duke fans). They signed napkins (hey, we weren't prepared!). They even signed arms, which led Z to cover his bicep in Cling Wrap before jumping in the shower, so as to keep the writing there as long as possible.

Since all five kids aspire to do great things (what kid doesn't dream big?), the players made sure to spend lots of time talking about the importance of education and doing well in school. This kind of service to the community, through small encounters, is a great demonstration of the value of the Duke football program, even at a time when wins on the field are few and far between.

Thanks guys!


Monday, October 29, 2007

I Like Pickles!!!

Yes, I did have a little grilled chicken with my pickles the other night at Fat Daddy's in Raleigh...


Farmers' Market

In North Carolina, they have a bunch of buildings and tents that make up what is called the Farmers' Market. These places sell fruits and veggies grown on local farms.

When my parents used to live in North Carolina, my mom loved the Farmers' Market. The produce is better and cheaper than in regular stores. So when the boys decided to go golfing instead of pumpkin picking with us, we (my mom, Dawn, Kaylee, and me) decided to go to the farmer's market.

Since it is the Fall, all the Fall products were being sold. They had pumpkins (better than the ones at the patch), apples, apple cider, and sweet potatoes, etc. The pumpkins were being sold by several different groups of people. One group was selling pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors for $5. My mom bought a white one and lop-sided orange one. These pumpkins were the coolest looking pumpkins I had ever seen.

But I was on a quest for the perfect Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. So we kept looking and I stopped in front of a place selling three sizes of pumpkins--large, medium, and small. They were all perfectly round and the perfect shade of orange. And there, sitting on the corner of the medium section for $7, was my perfect pumpkin. It was perfectly smooth for my Jack-O-Lantern.


Fake Snake?

We were at the North Carolina State Fair, and we had just gotten off the Ferris wheel. We were on our way around the fair when we saw a sign for a 300 pound, 20 foot long snake. Last year, our experience was with a snake lady (who we saw smoking later).

We paid and we went in. The snake was big and fat but it looked dead. The old money collector for the snake heard us and came over. He said, "Are you saying my child is dead?" We did not answer. He said, "I'll show you!" He opened the cage and hit the snake. It started to move.

The snake was real and not a ripoff.