Have I Been Assimilated?

Your diarist wonders if it’s even possible for a working writer to resist Twitter at this point, especially during a political season. The short answer is that it’s possible but not feasible — not if you want your opinions to have some currency anyway. Several Twitter accounts have been set up for me over the [Read More...]

From Anvil’s Lips to God’s Ears

Your diarist should apologize in advance for the mild swear on this family-friendly website. So, sorry folks, but it’s unlikely anybody has ever come up with better words to sum up the day just past than Lips in Anvil: The Story of Anvil. He said “Family is important shit, man.” Indeed it is. We sacrifice [Read More...]

Sailing With William Butler Yeats

It is, for reasons that I dare not go into at this time and perhaps ever, a perfectly lousy Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, some of our more thoughtful forbears wrote down words to come alongside us and help us bear up under it. It’s funny that their scribblings should have such an effect, but they do. [Read More...]

The Things Gram Put Up With

My family, Whatcom County division, got together Sunday on the anniversary of grandmother Shirley Bailey’s death. We had pizza and ate her beloved chocolate chip cookies and told stories. The theme that emerged was, Wow, she put up with a lot from us. For instance, the story Dad told was of the time we bought [Read More...]

The Most Stubborn Woman in the World

That was my grandmother, Shirley Bailey. She died a year ago today. This is some of what I had to say at her funeral: You have probably heard it said that we all die alone. Our final moments are so far removed from common experience that we might as well be long-eroded solitary islands, finally [Read More...]

Why I Write, Twitter Version

1. To understand and to spread understanding, imperfect though it may be. 2. To have fun. [Read more...]

Woody Allen Was Wrong About the Heart

What the heart really wants to do is keep on beating. At least, that’s what my doctors tell me. The “Last Call” from the current issue of the American Spectator is a short write-up of my recent heart scare, my “ventricular cacophony,” which came to almost nothing. Though that “almost” is a pretty funny joke [Read More...]

My 9/11 Problem–and Ours

[Rather than try to scratch up something new for 9/11 commentary, here's the note I wrote last year. It sums up my thoughts on this awful day.] My God I am sick of 9/11 commentary. Aren’t you? I have usually managed to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks with some considered thought. But [Read More...]

NRA Approved Artwork

While most of my friends in DC were busy watching President Obama’s speech, I thought up a whole new art form. The artist would use a gun to make a bunch of bullet holes on a canvas or template in a pattern to create an image. I call it bulletpointillism. [Read more...]

Ode to Clint Eastwood

Last night I saw upon the chair A little man who wasn’t there He wasn’t there again today Oh, how I wish he’d go away [Read more...]


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