A New Job, Fatherly Advice, and the Lottery

I didn’t forget that a lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. But I had reasons for this purchase: it gives me an excuse to relate one of my favorite jokes-slash-stories. [Read more…]

Refracted Mantel Light (Digital Photo, “52 Makeup” Week 7)

One of the keys to creativity is learning to see everyday, ordinary things in a new way. This week’s entry in my 52 makeup challenge looks at the lamp and the LED colored string on my mantel — a sight I see everyday — through two lucite coasters, everyday objects on my table. Together these [Read More…]

The Streisand Effect, The Vegan Agenda, And Sending Me To Japan

Hello friends. This week’s dose of randomness comes a little late due to your humble correspondent being overcome by events. (My father is doing better, thank you to all who’ve checked in.) The Streisand Effect You probably heard about Elizabeth Warren’s speech last week criticizing the execrable Jeff Sessions, in spite of Mitch McConnell’s invocation [Read More…]

“details” (A Poem, “52 Makeup” Week 6)

Rhythm can be a more subtle form of poetic organization than rhyme. This week’s entry in the 52 Makeup challenge plays with iambic pentameter. details “Every poem could be titled either ‘Heaven, a Detail’ or ‘Hell, a Detail.’ — Stevie Smith chocolate chip bread pudding and a beer the man behind the counter knows my [Read More…]

Confused Fathers, Messed Up Lives, And Taking Credit

But we all have messed-up stuff going on in our lives, even the great spiritual teachers. [Read more…]

Shadow 1 (Digital Photo, “52 Makeup” Week 5)

Photography sent my father to Vietnam. He was the photographer for his high school newspaper. He was something of an aimless kid, but this was something that interested him. When the Air Force recruiters came to his school his senior year, in late 1962 or early 1963, they told him, “Hey, you’re interested in photography? Well young man, we do a lot of reconnaissance photography. Sign up and we’ll give you a whole bunch of training that will set you up for a civilian career later.” [Read more…]

Emperor Norton, Our Guide For Troubled Times

All that stood in their way was the solitary figure of Norton. A sane man would not have been there in the first place. [Read more…]

Groundhog Day and Ikuru

So he does three things: he works to improve himself. He comes to love the people around him. And he uses the skills he learns to help make life better for the those other people, he becomes their guardian and protector and helper. [Read more…]

Orwell On Nationalism, Learning to Receive, And The Patheos Pagan Kerfuffle

“Notes on Nationalism” is not just relevant to the resurgence of traditional nationalism we are experiencing, it shows how that phenomenon we now call “identity politics” rests on the same basis. [Read more…]

Playing With Paint (Acrylic & Watercolor, “52 Makeup” Week 4)

While I’m far from “perfect”, whatever I do is as natural as starshine or a thunderstorm. The crow does not compare it’s caw to the songs of other birds. [Read more…]