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Monthly Archives: June 2019

An arrogant writer gets punished by readers

Neal Stephenson. Wikipedia photo. Four years ago here, I reviewed Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves. Though I gave the book four of five stars, I was turned off by Stephenson’s increasingly insufferable narcissism. I wrote: The bottom line, for me at least, is that Stephenson writes must-read science fiction. However, I’m getting stronger and stronger whiffs of […]

Things we lost when newspapers died

Rob Morse, former metro columnist at the San Francisco Examiner. Photo: Mill Valley Patch, 2011 I am the product of an almost-extinct culture: newspaper culture. I got my first newspaper job at the age of 17, as a part-time copy boy when I was still in high school. I retired as a newspaperman in 2008. […]

Two lemons a day keep the doctor away

It’s a miracle of nature that the best summer drink of all — homemade lemonade — also is some of the best medicine you can get. If you do some Googling and reading on the virtues of lemons, you’ll find plenty of people who swear that lemons can cure arthritis. Surely that’s too good to […]

This just in from California

iPhone XS photos by JMG Regular readers know that I have been breathlessly following Burger King’s rollout of the Impossible Whopper. The rollout started in the St. Louis area. After meeting with great success there, and an 18 percent increase in same-store sales, Burger King rolled out the Impossible Whopper in the San Francisco Bay […]

Why is Mexican so hard?

A very inauthentic chili relleno Other than those Americans who live close to the Mexican border, or in California, most Americans know very little about good Mexican cuisine. Readers in Europe: Do you have Mexican restaurants at all? I’m guessing not. At the risk of being snobbish about restaurants in America, there is low Mexican […]

Nancy Pelosi tips her hand

Twitter, Christine Pelosi “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.” A lot of people who want justice for Donald Trump have been grumbling about Nancy Pelosi, because Pelosi seems to be dragging her feet on impeachment. However, I don’t see anything to grumble about. A lot of politics […]

A training ground for Highland hiking

Looking south from the crest of Hanging Rock, with mist, just before rain Though North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park is only a 15-minute drive from Acorn Abbey (through the picturesque little colonial town of Danbury), I don’t think I’ve ever written about the park here. These are iPhone photos that I took this morning. […]

The church sees rot everywhere but in itself

“Tintern Abbey and Elegant Figures,” by Samuel Colman, 1780-1845 Conservative minds are obsessed with institutional decay. They can’t stop writing books about it. To the conservative mind, change is an existential threat, as though the Dark Ages were a utopia that we must return to. Do you remember William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous quote? “A […]

Apple sticks it to Facebook and Google

For years, Facebook and Google have been running a racket for tracking people on the Internet — “Sign in with Facebook,” and “Sign in with Google.” I have never fallen for this, and I hope you haven’t either. If you use these things, you’re practically handing Facebook and Google a detailed dossier on where you […]

Tone, irony, snark, and smarm

H.L. Mencken. Portrait by Carl Van Vecten, 1932, Library of Congress To see similarities between snark and gun violence is wrong of me, I admit. Both are epidemic. But one is deadly, and the other merely wounds. But I had been thinking about two different posts that I might write here, one on snark, and […]