Tito the Mighty Hunter: Good Dead Things

Thinking about dogs tonight, so I'm reposting this bit from 2008:In most dog-related things, I was a fairly indulgent dad. But having my four-leggers roll in dead stuff, or go off into the brush and bring back something rotten, I had a hard time with that.Tito was especially bad about it.One summer day we were out along Varmint Creek hiking. I have this thing I sometimes do – I think of it as my super power – I hike and read at the same time. The subconscious Guardian Idiot that resides in … [Read more...]

Dear Mr. President

Oh man, I am so glad you won. Whew! Mitt Romney just scared the hell out of me. And Ryan a heartbeat away from the presidency? No way!I know you have a lot on your plate right now, but ... I’m going to toss one more serving up there.“ABCD by 2023” is an ambitious scientific research project I’d like to see Americans undertake. Briefly, it’s a 10-year Apollo-style project against four diseases: Alzheimer’s. Birth defects. Cancer. Diabetes.For the rest of it, I hope you’ll forgive me for pres … [Read more...]

Slight Damper on the Obama Victory

One of my old Texas friends sent me an email last night, titled "A Touch of Real Class," showing 18 pictures of George W. Bush mixing and mugging with uniformed soldiers arriving at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. It ends with "And, tell me once again the name of the person in the White House who bad-mouths this man and his wife." Jeezus.(Inside scoop: I picked this photo out of all the others because of the young man's crooked smile. I fancy it says "Yeah, yeah, I'm smiling on that side … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Drowning Puppies So You Don’t Get Dogs

I’m a professional editor. I’m also a professional writer. I can tell you which one is easiest: Editing.When I sit down to a blank screen and have to write, oh boy, is it a challenge. Normally I write with what I call “the fire.” I might wake up in the morning with a ... well, call it a shape in my head, the shape of an essay or short story, and I can sit down and write the entire first draft in no time at all.When I don’t have the creative fire – annoyingly, it seems to come less often as I … [Read more...]

Bracing For Superstorm Sandy

Storm preparations:  Guns, knives, ammo ... check, check, check. Mormon neighbor with year's supply of food ... check. Storm Survival Tips #413: Lhasa Apsos are nicely marbled, but mini-dachshunds have more actual meat. Kiddinnnng!When Hurricane Irene made landfall in August of 2011, I lived in a nice, safe farmhouse well above floodline. We even had a fireplace, so if the power had gone out, we'd be warm and might have even finagled a way to cook. … [Read more...]

Tin Ear for Jesus, Black Eye for Xtianity

No, my objection to JesusWeen isn't the name.Although, dayyum, it does sorta grate on the ears, doesn't it? JesusWEEN. Jesus Weenie.It just sounds so silly — something thought up by one of those Christian-nerdy people who are tone deaf to common social nuance because they live in this weird little cloistered bastion of religiosity.  … [Read more...]