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Monthly Archives: September 2016

The debate

Blurry losers from a lost world watching Fox News and sagely repeating Republican talking points, the morning after the debate Y’all knew that a rant was coming today, didn’t you? First, here’s my prediction for the debate, from an email to a friend a couple of hours before the debate started: Two things that give […]

What the cat sees

Many of my wildlife photos are taken through upstairs or downstairs windows. Sometimes I notice a critter outside and run get the camera. Other times it’s because Lily is watching something. I run get the camera even before I know what’s she’s looking at.

Engineers are the funniest people

People who know me say they never hear me laugh as hard as when I’m watching Road Runner cartoons. Why might that be? I’m a nerd, and Wiley Coyote, you see, is an engineer. He’s always engineering up solutions to get the Road Runner. But because Wiley Coyote is a slightly inept engineer, he always […]

What a sane voice sounds like

This morning in my news-reading routine, I came across this video made by the Raleigh News & Observer. Deborah Ross, a Democrat who is running for the United States Senate from North Carolina against Republican Richard Burr, had met with the newspaper’s editorial board and was asked to talk to the camera about her vision […]

Staying sane as insanity spreads

After the right-wing media can no longer sustain the delusion, people gradually come to their senses. But by then the damage is done. In my lifetime, the most terrifying period in American history was early 2003, when the Bush administration was selling the Iraq war to the American people. Those of us who stayed sane […]

Rolling coal?

Though I had seen pickup trucks with smokestacks blowing black smoke, I did not know about “rolling coal” until the New York Times wrote about it a week ago. Here is a new way for useless white guys to strut their hatred, as they are constantly encouraged to do by the right-wing media. Google for […]

How to become a fugue nerd

Click on image for larger version Have we had a music post lately? I thought not. Get out your headphones and your thinking cap, and let’s talk a bit about fugues. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with fugues. Everyone with a nerdly approach to music is obsessed with fugues. Recently I recommended to a […]

Old-fashioned grass-roots politics

With an election coming up, it’s almost a full-time job to handle my duties as chairman of the Democratic Party in my county. But the job has its rewards, including meeting the candidates during their campaign travels. Even our oldest active Democrats can’t recall a candidate for the United States Senate ever visiting our little […]

19th Century post-apocalyptic fiction?

As a writer of post-apocalyptic fiction, naturally I’m interested in the classics of the post-apocalyptic genre. Until I read Robert MacFarlane’s wonderful book Landmarks, I was not aware that some post-apocalyptic fiction was written during the 19th Century. MacFarlane devotes much of a chapter to Richard Jefferies, a prolific nature writer who also wrote fiction. […]

Hollywood’s recurring dreams — about itself

La La Land Why is it so hard to think of fresh and original premises for a story or movie? Is it that writers don’t have much imagination? Or is it that publishers and filmmakers are wary of stories that deviate too far from the standard themes that have made money in the past? Sometimes, […]