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

Here 2

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 »

MAY 1, 2014 7:57AM

God's Snowflake


I was waxing poetic the other day, as I am wont to do from time to time, pondering possible subjects for this blog. As always, I focused most strongly on myself, and considered doing a steeped-in-humility one about just how very special I am. Smugness was about to set in whenRead full post »

APRIL 28, 2014 7:36AM

Logic Redux

Logic Use

To the same degree that I hate and reject reality, I embrace and treasure logic. Not the extreme Spock-the-Vulcan logic, necessarily, where there is absolutely no wiggle-room, but good old common sense logic. Logic gives the world—well, me at least—a sense of order and meaning. YetRead full post »

APRIL 24, 2014 7:58AM



Like almost everything else in my life, I do not respond to emotions in the way most people do. For the most part, emotions run roughshod over me. I tear up to music, and to anything I consider truly touching or sad...or joyous. I "wear my heart on my sleeve," asRead full post »

APRIL 21, 2014 7:56AM



How human beings…well, let’s narrow that down a bit…how I…can possibly exist in this world, let alone accomplish anything constructive while in it is a total mystery. Actually, pretty much of everything is a total mystery to me. When it comes to theRead full post »

APRIL 17, 2014 7:45AM

Missing Me


While listening to the first segments of my in-production audiobook of A World Ago: A Navy Man’s Letter’s Home, 1954-1956 I once again grew nostalgic for the long-ago me. I’m still much the same in many ways; my sense of humor is exactly the same now as it was then. ButRead full post »

APRIL 14, 2014 7:18AM

Writers and Readers

Yin and Yang  

Over the course of writing more than 20 books, I’ve become increasingly aware that though writers and readers are like yin and yang, there is a tendency for readers to be intimidated by writers. It truly disturbs me to hear a reader say,Read full post »

APRIL 10, 2014 7:59AM

Cassandra's Children

CassandraThere is a war going on. There always is, somewhere, of course. But this is not a war between nations or ideologies, but a war between human beings and the technology we have created, and it is a war we humans are surely losing. 

It's not that we haven'tRead full post »

APRIL 7, 2014 7:57AM


Crapshoot 3

Crapshoot: noun. A risky or uncertain matter. See also: Life

Okay, so I added that last part, but it’s true. Every single action we take or decision we make is a roll of the cosmic dice which determines and alters the course of the rest of our lives. Most of theRead full post »