Monthly Archives: December 2013

A New Tradition

Tomorrow, I will begin a new tradition.  Every day, I will post here my “thoughts for the day” in addition to my regular, or irregular, stream-of-consciousness posts. These “thoughts for the day” won’t necessarily be motivational pep talks to myself, … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughts For the Day | 3 Comments

Idées trouvé

If it is possible to create visual art by, deliberately and with purpose, assembling pieces of unrelated non-art objects (and it is…one term for such art is objets trouvé), then doesn’t it follow that it is possible to create literary … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Literature | Leave a comment

Getting Fat on Expectations

I sneaked back onto Facebook and noticed something right away.  My absence wasn’t noticed.  Not even by me.  The lives of the Facebookies did not erupt in turmoil at my absence.  There were no huge, gaping holes where my contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 11 Comments


Amos Cartwright descended from sharecroppers who barely survived the Flood of 1851. Fortunately for his forebears, Sampson and Blanche Cartwright, the owners of the land they worked did not survive.  Through a convoluted web of bureaucratic wizardry, helped along no … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

You Die Twice

I watched a report, entitled Remembering with Dignity, on the PBS Newshour the other night. It was about efforts to remember and recognize people who had died while in a state mental institution in Minnesota years ago. When those people … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Philosophy | 9 Comments

Singular Solutions

I once had enormous faith in the ability of science and technology to solve the monstrous problems confronting humankind.  Lately, though, my confidence has ebbed as I’ve come to acknowledge that astonishing breakthroughs in science and technology frequently come with a … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Food, Government, Philosophy, Politics, Population, Poverty, Urban planning, Water | 7 Comments

Holiday Meal Extraordinaire

We had every good intention of having Christmas dinner on Christmas day. But a big midday meal of tamales and chile con queso, for the second day in a row, coupled with my wife’s tendency to enjoy her long afternoon … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Love | 10 Comments


I wrote a very short vignette a few days ago in which a character changed his first name from Dan to Bravado.  It was a silly, completely transparent piece suggesting the idiocy and dangers of superficiality. When I wrote it, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Selfishness | 2 Comments

Food Features and Fantasies

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, we departed from our usual tradition of having tamales and chile con queso and beer for dinner. Because we had arranged to go to dinner with friends last night, we instead honored the tamale tradition at lunch. … Continue reading

Posted in Food | 3 Comments

Merry Christmas!

Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Other, most people acknowledge this day as Christmas day.  We’re not all celebrating the same thing when we celebrate today, but I think we’re all acknowledging the capacity of humanity to have good … Continue reading

Posted in Peace, Philosophy | 6 Comments

Missed Opportunities

Ill-fitting clothes and a devil-may-care green plaid newsboy cap. Grey herringbone tweed jacket with brown trousers. Hiking boots, no socks, no match for the smile fresh from lukewarm coffee and a cold cinnamon bun. Impossible to forget that sad café, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 2 Comments

Canadian Tomatoes and Kansas Grapefruit

Last summer, one of my brothers planted tomatoes.  The plants grew and produced blossoms, but the fruit never set.  He theorized the high temperatures, both day and night, might be to blame.  From what I’ve read this morning, he’s probably … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Weather | 5 Comments

Guest Post: Red Ale & More!

My friend, Juan Flores, is a connoisseur of fine, home-brewed beer and an accomplished brewer himself. He has allowed me to post this brief rumination on his current brewing endeavor. ########################################################## I’m priming my ale some 5 days before I … Continue reading

Posted in Beer | 5 Comments

Privilege and Compassion: Incompatible?

I’d be very interested in getting feedback about this short PBS video from visitors to this page. What do you think about the research? Do you think financial advantage, real or fabricated, influences the way people treat others? Are rich … Continue reading

Posted in Poverty | 3 Comments

Relief Valve

My decisions are revocable. That’s what makes them seem wishy-washy; by definition, I suppose they are. My latest decision is to take another temporary breather from Facebook.  It’s not because I think it will have any lasting effect on me, … Continue reading

Posted in Peace | 12 Comments

Vignette: The Importance of Names

Dan and Melanie Churchpepper married 31 years earlier.  Like every married couple, they’d had their ups and downs, but generally their time together had been pleasant, if not overwhelmingly exciting.  Their lives were predictable, if somewhat dull. After 31 years in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Le jeu n’en vaut pas la chandelle

“The game is not worth the candle.” It’s a favorite phrase of mine; it says so much, so economically. The last time I used it was well over a year ago.  The phrase is said to have originated with a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Communal Living

For the last few years, I’ve grown increasingly interested in a budding trend toward what I’ll call communal living, though it’s called by a number of other names including co-housing, The concept is that groups of individuals or families live … Continue reading

Posted in Housiing | 5 Comments

The House You Live In

I know I may be opening myself up to criticism, snickering, and accusations that I’m a whimpering dreamer, but the lyrics to The House You Live In are some of the most touching, most moving, most INSTRUCTIONAL words of any … Continue reading

Posted in Secular morality | 9 Comments

Real Estate

A house in our subdivision, just a couple of blocks from us, came on the market over a month ago at $325,000.  It’s about 200 square feet larger than ours and has four bedrooms.  It’s located on an entrance to … Continue reading

Posted in Housiing | 3 Comments

One of My Musical Interests

Some music I find of interest. Neutral Milk Hotel, playing “In the Aeroplane over the Sea.”

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

What Odds are being Offered by the Facebookie?

I’ve made the decision before, more than once.  The decision to abandon Facebook, that is. I suppose the most significant aspect of deciding to leave Facebook is facing the reality that my social life is almost entirely electronic.  And by … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Friendship | Leave a comment

Photographic Evidence of Hyperdistance and Uberspace

If you stare intently enough into the highfalutin shot glass from which you’re sipping rye, you can see the other side of the universe.   This photo simply doesn’t do it justice. I recall, when I took this photo a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Wisdom | Leave a comment

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

They met at the public Christmas party at Whole Foods.  Both of them were unimpressed with the party, but intrigued by one another’s selection of beer.  He bought a six-pack of locally-brewed IPA.  She had her 32 ounce growler filled … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

Cornish Pasties

I did it.  I made Cornish Pasties, ostensibly a “Great Lakes” regional dish.  It was my second “Regional Cuisine of the U.S. and Canada” endeavor of the month, the first being American Chop Suey. I did not bother with photos … Continue reading

Posted in Doing Without, Food | 3 Comments