It's Always Some Poor Writer's Birthday: So thank you, I guess, good old Uncle Garrison, for remembering them on good old Minnesota Public Radio. A rather good bunch was born today, too: Nelson Algren [Party in Chicago on Saturday!], Gorky, Vargas Llosa, Russell Banks and Frederic "A Fan's Notes" Exley. [Literary types will inevitably want to play the good old "What do this motley crew have in common?" game. Cheating and false analogies actively encouraged, of course.] In fact, it's been a good week altogether. Be sure to go back to 2001 and 2002 for extra snippets. The notes, written by Keillor, are unassuming, interesting and admirably synthetic. There's also an excellent daily reading of a poem [Real Audio req.] and a running celebration of the calendar's most significant dates. I defy those who are put off by Keillor's sock-knitting, eggnog-sipping, home-on-the-range style not to grudgingly feel, amid the grrrr, an unwelcome twinge of gratitude.