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I was at work yesterday when I got a tip from one of my friends in another department that a Pittsburgh Penguin was going to be stopping by our office around 4:00pm. They said they had not been told which Penguin would be coming, but said I should come over (the Penguin was coming to the adjacent building) around 3:45pm and bring something for them to sign. Since I only have a small cubicle at work that I decorate sparingly, I didn't have much in terms of good signature material. Luckily, I have been feverishly awaiting the Penguin's 2010 season, and have had the Pensblog Calendar up on my cubicle wall for the past several weeks. I took it over and to my surprise, the Penguin who arrived to deliver my company's season tickets was none other than Head Coach Dan Bylsma. The ticket deliver seemed to be a little bit of a production, as Dan had a camera man following him around along with other Penguin's staff, but Disco Dan seemed like a really cool guy. Shook everyones' hand and was eager to sign autographs, take pictures, and chit chat. When it got to be my turn, Dan noticed that I had the Pensblog calendar and his face lit up. He said the guys love the Pensblog's photoshops and that they were hung up in the locker room during the Stanley Cup Final. After he signed my calendar, he started to flip through it, and by blind luck, the first page he flipped to was the black and white silhouette of Pensblog Charlie's face with the simple text "Do it." Dan paused for a moment, appearing confused, but then flipped through a few more pages and laughed at the "Free Candy" van in a manner that made it apparent that he was familiar with the term. All in all, meeting Disco was a really cool experience, and was a perfect end for my Summer of Woooo.
Andrew Malcolm's immigrant parents repeatedly stressed the importance of active participation in a democracy. Early lessons included learning the alphabetical list of states by watching televised roll calls of national political conventions. That childhood exposure led to a lifelong fascination with politics, including 40-plus years of covering them and a brief stint practicing them as press secretary to Laura Bush in 1999-2000. A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Malcolm served on the Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four.