Castles, Kafka, Controversy: My Days in Czechoslovakia

Jul 5, 2010 | 1827 Views | 0 Comments

I touched down in Prague in April 1991 to launch a public relations campaign for Westinghouse Electric Corporation - 16 months after the collapse of communism. And that’s when my real PR education began. Forging relationships with skeptical journalists is hard enough, but imagine the difficulty of communicating to audiences stifled by 50 years of communist propaganda. I wanted to communicate facts, but first I had to gain trust. Sometimes I felt a bit like a propagandist myself! In the early 1990s ,the Czech government sought international nuclear suppliers to help complete a partially-built Soviet-designed nuclear plant... Read More »

Those Ukraine Girls – and Guys – Really Knocked Me Out

Nov 14, 2009 | 1880 Views | 0 Comments

Some of my most interesting work experiences took place in Ukraine in the early 1990s, when Westinghouse Electric Corporation sent me to Kiev to work with representatives from that country's nuclear industry. Ukraine's Soviet-designed Chernobyl plant was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986. But Chernobyl was only one of more than a dozen Ukrainian reactors that required massive safety upgrades - upgrades that would cost billions of dollars. Westinghouse was a potential supplier of advanced safety and control systems for these plants.  Acquiring the approval and  financing for such upgrades would require the trust... Read More »

Propaganda Village – On the Border of North Korea

Nov 12, 2009 | 2452 Views | 0 Comments

During a business trip to Seoul, South Korea, in 1995 I traveled to the village of Panmunjon and took a USO-sponsored tour of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which forms the border between North and South Korea - two countries that are technically still at war and in cease-fire mode. My father, Fred Spiardi, was a U.S. Army Private in Korea in the early 1950s.  I was always fascinated by the photos he took of the barren landscapes and war-weary women and children, and I hoped that someday I’d have a chance to see this part of the... Read More »

Confessions of a Font Addict

Sep 4, 2006 | 1729 Views | 0 Comments

This article appeard in the September 2006 issue of the County of Westmoreland Mac User Group (CowMug) newsletter. Die Nasty.  Dream Orphans.  Beat My Guest.  Highway to Heck.  No, these aren’t names of punk rock groups or titles of angst-ridden, teen-penned poems.  They’re names of fonts.  Four evocatively named fonts that co-exist among the hundreds of others in my Mac.  Fonts that compete on a daily basis to be chosen for use in one of my literary or graphic masterpieces (ahem). I’ve rarely met a font I didn’t fall in love with.  I’ve cruised the Internet super highways... Read More »

All you Need is Litigation: Apple versus Apple

Jun 5, 2006 | 1769 Views | 0 Comments

Iʼm one of the worldʼs original Beatlemaniacs. Iʼm so proud of my big Beatle love that I unashamedly admit Iʼm old enough to have seen the Fab Four on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 (well, I was only four – but I've never forgotten the thrill). While my childhood friends dreamed of one day visiting Disney World and meeting Mickey Mouse, I fantasized about visiting Liverpool and London to walk in the footsteps of my idols. (This dream came true in 1987 during my first trip to the U.K.) Back in my Flower Power youth, I... Read More »