AUGUST 7, 2014 7:53AM


running 1  

The “Flight or Fight” reflex is one of the basic human survival techniques. But “Fight or Flight” refers primarily to external threats, and there are many traumatic situations in life where the problem is internal and emotional, and “fight” isRead full post »

AUGUST 4, 2014 7:50AM

"It was the best of times, ...."


I’ve always taken little-boy delight in sharing things which give me great pleasure, in the hopeful if perhaps incorrect expectation that others will enjoy them, too.

But I note that as I grow older, it’s more and more difficult to directly share thingsRead full post »

JULY 31, 2014 7:31AM

A Conversation with My Muse

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You rang?

Yes! I just realized I've got to do a blog for tomorrow.

Relax. No hurry. You've got all day.

Oh, yeah. We know how that goes. I get up at 6 a.m., have a cup of coffee, pet the cat, andRead full post »

JULY 28, 2014 7:33AM

Mr. In-Between

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You're probably much too young to remember one of the top songs from 1944, Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's "Accentuate the Positive," but my mind's radio was playing it when I woke up this morning. (You've got to Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate-the Pos-i-tive, E-lim-I-nate the neg-a-tive; Latch on to the afRead full post »

JULY 21, 2014 7:53AM

America's Voice

Kate Smith - God Bless America  

One of the regrettable and inevitable things about aging is that the older we get, the more things which were familiar to us from our youth fade and are lost to generations which come after. I was reminded of that recently when IRead full post »

JULY 17, 2014 7:50AM

"One Ringy-Dingy"

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I've never been much of a phone talker since my teenage years—I don't do all that much talking off the phone, either, but that's another story. So when I moved back to Chicago in 2006, I decided not to have a land-line phone at all, and instead bought a cell phoneRead full post »

JULY 14, 2014 8:35AM



I’ve taken, of late, to closing my cat Spirit in the bathroom at night with food, litter, water, a couple of places to sleep—he seems to like the sink—and a toy; all to prevent his sitting outside my bedroom door at anywhere fromRead full post »

JULY 10, 2014 7:56AM

On Meeting Myself


I know, I’s always “me”, isn’t it? … Well, yes, I guess it is, but you are very kind in indulging me.

At dinner the other night with friends, while trying with great effort and limited success to force my head up high enough to make eye contact with theRead full post »

JULY 7, 2014 8:44AM



Probably the single most powerful…and prevalent…emotion in my life is frustration. For me, it is a hair-trigger, automatic reaction to anything which, in my estimation, does not go exactly as I think it should go. For me, it is a bottomless chasm of fury and despair, and there isRead full post »

JULY 3, 2014 7:59AM

The Broken Compass


As so often happens when I set off to write a blog, I'll head off in one direction and not only end up nowhere near where I intended to go when I started, and have no idea how I got where I did end up. I seem to have a magicRead full post »

JUNE 30, 2014 7:45AM

Pondering the Imponderable


We humans seem to take a perverse delight in pondering questions for which there are and can be no definitive answers. It's one of the many wonders—and frustrations—of life that we spend so much time and energy on them as we do. Perhaps it is partly because while these questions seRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2014 8:43AM

Of Time and Blogs


I'm not sure what to call it. It's not ennui (one of my all-time favorite words, by the way). It's not really boredom. And I don't feel particularly burnt-out. It's just, I think, the need for a short break in the routine. 

ThisRead full post »

JUNE 23, 2014 7:55AM

"I Sing the Body Electric!"

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Music is inherent to human existence, and a basic form of communicating emotion. The title of Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric" indicates the strong link between words, poetry, and song. Songs are simply words--poetry--set to music. Each of us finds and responds to our own inner music… Read full post »

JUNE 19, 2014 7:51AM



I’ve not used an alarm clock in 40 years. My mind has a build-in alarm which is set for no later than 6:00, no matter how much I would like to sleep longer. Seven mornings out of ten, I wake up like a tree full of owls between 5:50 and 6:00,Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2014 7:40AM

Technology and Me

Technology 1  

I am a simple man—some would argue “in all definitions of the word.” And while I am very grateful to live in an era of iPads and Smartphones and Digital-This-es and High-Speed-6D-Thats, my admiration for these devices is exceeded only by my totalRead full post »

JUNE 12, 2014 7:50AM

Sing Me a Song


Among my many carefully-cultivated idiosyncrasies is my ability to have a song suddenly appear in my head and refuse to leave, like gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Last night, it was “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”...a big hit from the Civil War. I’m sure you remember itRead full post »

JUNE 2, 2014 7:48AM

Words Spoken, Words Written


I went to lunch recently with a group of former co-workers. It was nice to see them all, and the conversation was spirited. Let's make that "their conversation was spirited." I mostly just sat there, saying nothing. They were all bubbly as freshly-poured champagne and I felt like stale beer. IRead full post »

MAY 29, 2014 7:55AM

Miss Piggy's Nose

Nose 2  

Odd how the mind works. I had lunch with a woman friend I’ve known since my first, earliest days in Chicago, when I was still in my 20s and Norm and I were together. It got me thinking of Norm, as I doRead full post »

MAY 26, 2014 7:53AM

Name Dropping

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While I always find name droppers mildly annoying, I realized the other day, while talking with an English friend (drop #1) I met on my last year’s cruise from Rome to Istanbul (drop #2) about the possibility of his joining me and my friend Gary on our August Venice to AthensRead full post »

MAY 22, 2014 7:54AM

The Candle


Please believe me—I do not want to become a bitter old man muttering oaths under my breath and swiping at passing children with my cane. But I am sincerely growing increasingly concerned about how bitter I am becoming. I don't want to turnRead full post »

MAY 19, 2014 7:53AM

"Mine Enemy Grows Older"


It’s not often one gets to make reference to raconteur Alexander King, Walt Kelly’s Pogo, and Dorothy Parker in the same sentence, but I’ve managed. The title of this particular blog is taken from King’s 1958 book of his personal observations on aging. That I and so manRead full post »

MAY 15, 2014 7:50AM


Fretting 1

Of all the wasteful, unproductive, and frustrating pastimes we humans absolutely insist upon wasting our time, fretting surely has to be right there at the top of the list. I've come to the conclusion that fretting provides the same perverse form of pain/pleasure as picking a scab, and despiteRead full post »

MAY 12, 2014 7:54AM

"Under God"


To avoid being stoned in the streets, I suppose a caveat might be in order before we begin: the views expressed in the following blog are my views. You are under absolutely no obligation to agree with them. But I hope you mightRead full post »

MAY 8, 2014 7:56AM

Requited Love


Groucho Marks once quipped: “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

Human nature encompasses a wide range of perversities, each of which has it’s own range of intensity. One of the more common of these perversities is the predilection for deliberRead full post »

MAY 5, 2014 7:53AM

Where There's a Will....


There’s that old saying, “Where there’s a will, there are relatives.” And anyone who has ever gone through the family feuding and squabbling that far too often goes on when a close relative dies knows it can be a pretty ugly experience.

WhenRead full post »