About Me/Contact

I’m Constantine von Hoffman, a freelance writer, journalist, onetime stand-up comedian and full-time cranky guy.

Here is what in journalism parlance is called the “nut graph” about me. A veteran journalist with more than 25 years professional experience, I currently write about business and finance for CBSNews.com and edit ANA, the quarterly magazine of the Association of National Advertisers.

Additionally, I a have worked for both the devil (AKA Rupert Murdoch when I was city editor at the Boston Herald) and The Deep Blue Sea (associate producer for National Public Radio’s environmental news show Living on Earth). I was a senior reporter at to BrandWeek, I was senior writer for CMO magazine and before that I was a freelance writer. My work has appeared in a whole bunch of magazines, including the Harvard Business Review, Sierra, Boston Magazine and CIO. If you want to read some of my work and/or find out more about me please visit my web site www.areporter.com. I’ve also written marketing communication material (white papers, articles, blog posts) for a number of companies including SAP, Sapient, CFO Research, Organic, Marketo and others.

If you want to contact me drop a line to cvon ((AT)) areporter ((DOT)) com. Did I mention that I’m a freelance writer? All offers will be considered.

33 thoughts on “About Me/Contact

  1. I read your article about Jack Peckett. He was my commanding officer, of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade, when we trained at Fort Bragg, NC, and then deployed to Viet Nam in the fall of 1967. I was saddened to hear of his death. I last talked to him on the phone shortly after 9/11. I can send you a picture of him taken at An Khe, Viet Nam in 1967.

  2. Hi Mr. Collateral Damage,
    Just wanted to send you a pat on the back..it was great that you put the babiesneedfood info on your blog.. i’m entering my first art festival, with fear, trepidation, embarassment, and some necessary chutzpah..i’m hoping “something” sells. proceeds will go to the babies…your auntie
    sharon

  3. Next What the Fluff festival (now an annual event) in Somerville is on 29 September at Union Square plaza 4pm.

  4. Ya, I know my sarcasm gets me in trouble all the time too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! lol

    Go ETIM ! closed up today! Weeeeeeeeee

  5. My sister was a friend of your mother way back in Hyde Park during the late 60s. I knew you and your two brothers, but I think you were too young to remember me. I heard your name on NPR a while ago, but was actually trying to see what happened to your brother Risto when I ran across your stuff. I’ve been living in Honolulu for the last 20 years and am now early retired. I’m working part time on the Obama campaign here and thought I might have something intelligent to say to his sister when I see her next.

  6. Constantine,
    This is a blast from the past. Not medieval, quite. No squires or lances around, except in museums and in at least one ghetto.
    I’m trying to hook up with your dad Nick. I get no help from the New York Observer. Could you pass my info on to him and ask him to get in touch. email or phone.

  7. Dude, you’re getting perilously close to a Walter Hunt level of being able to make a joke. The idea that the Dems would be good for the country is, sadly, no less of a fantasy than the GOP being good for the country.

    I would suggest you go here — http://atomjackmagazine.com/Contest_2007/main.htm — to read the actual story but the idea of you trying to sound out all those complex words is too painful to contemplate.

  8. Your blog, in the relationship between Japan’s blog.
    Japan recently introduced an information site. Foreigners who are relatively unknown in Japan to introduce the information. Surprise is full of information.
    We hope once the link please.
    (URL)http://japanesefood-cultuer-history-anime.blogspot.com/

  9. Do you or any of your readers know anything at all about this half-forgottoen, maybe completely wrong, recollection?

    A Pogo character – Churchy LaFemme? – worked furiously on solving a children’s riddle regarding cats[?] being carried to …. Altoona? Something like seven maids had seven sacks and every sack had seven cats so how many cats were going to Altoona. Except she was on a train to…. Northwood??

  10. To Harold R. Wermuller:
    In “The Pogo Peek-A-Book,” published in 1955, Pogo and Albert Alligator appeared as a wandering musician and Mother Goose, who was looking for some new material. Pogo tried out “As I Was Going To St. Ives” on Albert, who tried to figure out all the totals of cats, kits, sacks, wives. Pogo told him the answer to the old riddle — one, the speaker, is the one going to St. Ives; the others are going the other way. So Albert then said, “Where was THEY goin’?” Pogo replied, “Who knows? Mebbe to Ipswitch. Mebbe to Shalimar, mebbe to Altoona, Pa.” Albert then re-wrote the riddle ending with, “How many were going to Altoona?”
    From the Department of More Than You Wanted To Know.

  11. I knew Jack Peckett for a long time. I wrestled for him (and with him) in 1977-1978 and worked for him at NYU from 1984 until his untimely death and never stopped calling him Coach (or sir). I have too many stories to remember them all, but here’s a couple of things I know and/or believe:

    1. His respect for Dan Gable was as legendary as Gable himself, but it left him open for the only practical joke I ever pulled on him. I got his secretary at NYU (ABSOLUTELY clueless as to who Dan Gable is/was, so she needed no coaching on her delivery) to go into his office and tell him that “somebody named Dan Gable is here to say hello”. Peckett came FLYING out of his office, his hands desperately trying to straighten a tie that would never ever get straight. As the commercial goes…priceless.

    2. Jack was the only guy I ever met who served in the Vietnam War who said things like, “Vietnam was a lot of fun.”

    3. I heard the burglar story too. I believe it.

    4. Once, a bunch of NYU employees pissed Jack off so when their catered food came, he had all of it stuffed up into one of the air vents of the gym, so they couldn’t find it.

    5. Jack ALWAYS stood up for the people under him. I heard he retired a Major but took a demotion to Captain in exchange for some of his men getting benefits for Agent Orange exposure (which is what likely killed him in the end). There was a time he knew one particular employee screwed up and instead of turning this person in, he replaced a LOT of money that was lost out of his own pocket in order to protect this person’s job.

    6. Jack would only admit (and even then only after a few beers) to having “coordinated” with CIA elements in Vietnam (whatever that meant), but never admitted to formally being a member of the Agency. We did hear that he was called in by Colin Powell for consultation before we invaded Iraq (the second time).

    7. Never heard about a submarine, but we were treated to the “sucking chest wound” story and the infamous “robo story”. There was also one about a peculiar way of launching ice cubes at a party involving a part of the female anatomy (there was no telling with Jack’s sense of humor).

    The George with the last name you forgot is likely my old teammate, George Coffinas.

    Jack took a lot of things seriously. He just never let anyone inside his head enough to know which things they were.

    Last one…legend was that there were two different groups at NYU with opposing plans for the Coles Gym (this was in the mid 1970’s). Jack’s group and the other group. Well, the night before the big meeting with the NYC Planning Commission, the other group’s office was burglarized and all of their plans were taken. Only the plans for Jack’s group got presented and so approved. He never did admit directly to having “accomplished” that little trick (but he often cited G. Gordon Liddy as one of his heroes).

    The drawings from the “missing” plans were on the wall of his office, like trophies.

    He was truly one of a kind. I was honored to have known him and still miss him.

  12. re: Bear Dinkum Drops His Guts

    Neil Curtis died in Dec 2006, but I know there are numerous copies of BDDHG in his attic. (I was his partner at the time.) If you get in touch with me, I can put you in touch with someone who can probably get one for you.

    Well done if you have Bear Dinkum, that’s the really rare one.

  13. Thanks for the bit about chinese text messaging and computer keyboards; interesting. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for info on a ‘chinese typewriter’ that I saw for sale on a California Unified School Dist. Surplus Auction website. I read that you’d dreamed of having one in your collection. Maybe you’d be able to get this one on the cheap. Thanks for the valuable random knowledge about the typewriter. Here’s the link to the auction.http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/all,ca/auction/view?auc=385593

  14. I’m trying to find a cite for something you wronte for CMO magazine called “Hey Little Spender” and i can’t find it (apparently because the magazine is defunct and few libraries carry it. Would you have a copy and a cite you could send me? Thanks.

  15. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italian writing blog parolesemplici.wordpress.com. I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon
    Josè

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