A friend of mine in England deals with personal health issues, much of them derived from a long-known but little-understood virus, and blogged about life during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic:

I keep thinking to myself that I could manage all this better if only the world would shut up about it for a bit. There is constant chatter and no real news and for people like me who are anxious and readily self-isolating, far too much frightening stuff designed to rein in the cavalier and the rebellious.

A while ago in talking to a friend about the mass media and the internet I mentioned that the difficulty isn’t finding information, it’s dealing with the firehose of messaging coming at you and filtering out that which is not only useful but true.

Continue Reading »

Edie the Berserker

In honor of our dear old girl, I’m re-publishing this joyous post from a decade ago:

Science has measured and discussed the positive and negative effects of ions for years. I’ve heard that the ocean shore carries a different ionic charge, which can be energizing for many critters, and as proof  I give you our Edie girl:


Continue Reading »

Goodbye, Edie Girl

She won’t struggle to get up again. She won’t sprawl on the floor and wait for one of us to reach under her ribcage and pull her upright.

She won’t stagger across the floor as if drunk again, her hind quarters listing to one side as she navigates from rug to rug on the treacherous hardwood floor.

She won’t suffer incontinence any more, or the indignity of a quick rub down of her hind quarters with a rubbing alcohol–soaked washcloth, to clean her up.

She won’t struggle up any stairs again, needing one of us to reach an arm under her ribs to help her galumph laboriously up stairs she used to sprint up in a few bounds. Continue Reading »


Okay, I’ve been lousy at posting for a while. But I do still check in on old friends.

Continue Reading »

Over twenty years ago, tired of all the beaters I’d driven for years, I bought a two-year-old Toyota Corolla with 45,000 miles on it for about ten grand.   Continue Reading »

Books, the bodies of reading, were fascinating for me early in life, and I’m fortunate enough to have had parents who, after I left for college, saved many that I had as a kid. The oversized Dinosaur picture book, the scholastic book service biographies I ordered in school, the heroic war stories, the Vonnegut novels. The whole collection fit neatly on shelves built in over my bed.

The book shelves of my first apartments were also easily ordered. After a decade and a half in San Francisco, I moved, following a job across the bay that kept me busy for months. But one Saturday morning I woke with the usual to-do-list, which was interrupted by the realization I’d never properly sorted my books. Many simply came out of the boxes, which I’d filled by size and shape, not subject.

It was a nice weekend—my recollection is it was blustery outside, but inside I stacked piles of books, moving between bookcases in my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. American fiction, travel guides, a stack for Anne Tyler, movie references, et cetera.

I respect the decimal system of Dewey, but my categories are more organic. A History of Eating in America next to a Chinese cookbook; the collected Grantas shared space next to Graham Greene because they fit well.

Continue Reading »

You, small male child: build things!

I got these Tinker toys as a Christmas gift, perhaps in the hope of encouraging my engineering skills. And there I was, with my nose stuck in a book.

Looking to pare down possessions, I look at this stuff now and wonder if anyone might want it, before I toss it out.

Continue Reading »

Geranium Resurrection

When we bought this house one of the things we loved was the mature landscaping, including a large geranium which climbed a trellis, forming a wall next to the stairs of our deck. It bloomed nearly year round, blossoms periwinkle and a pale pink.

Looking for pictures of it now, I realize how much we took it for granted. In the first decade we lived here I can find pictures of our trees, the natal lilies, the roses, and both butterfly bushes (which tended to grow crazy fast, blossom profusely, then die off just as suddenly). But hardly anything of that wall of geraniums. Continue Reading »

Good luck to … Pinky?

We had a stray dog in our house for a day. She was a sweetheart … rambunctious, but a good girl.

Continue Reading »

Did the reclusive J.D. Salinger keep writing about the Glass family even after he last published? Perhaps it sustained him, at times was even a purgative. I knew people who criticized him for cashing in then going all Greta Garbo—I vant to be alone—but it never bothered me.  Sometimes you gotta do what you can to maintain the internal peace. Continue Reading »