Another Dad Story

Nat Daniel as a young married man, circa 1945 (years after the time of this story), with my mom, Mollie (photo taken on the boardwalk at Long Branch, N.J., where I was born) To mark my dad’s 108th birthday this week (he was born on Sept. 23, 1912), I’m retelling a funny story about him. […]

To WHERE and Back?

Uranus (Courtesy NASA, JPL-Caltech) August is Birthday Month in our family. Three in our quintet were born in August and one missed it by only a single day. Our daughters’ b’days are just two days — oh, and a few years! — apart. So it was that at this year’s arrival of those two days, […]

It’s a Miracle She’s Stuck With Me

Our wedding, Santa Barbara, California, August 8, 1987 This coming Saturday, Sandra and I will be celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary. It’s hard to fathom that by December, just four months from now, we’ll have completed a full 33 and a third passages around the sun together — married for a third of a century, […]

Dad Stories

Dad with me, probably 1945, Long Branch, N.J. On Father’s Day I’m recalling a few more stories about my dad, Nathan Daniel. They’re mostly “short takes,” so I’m presenting them in bullet form. One day, when I was about eight, Dad brought home a chunk of dry ice, something I’d never seen or heard of […]

Rioting: The Light Side

Bladderball In this time of rioting and broad-brush condemnation of America’s police, both of which I find deeply troubling, I’d like to lighten the mood with a recollection of rioting as I witnessed it in “olden times.” When I was a student at Yale (1962–66), riots were a joyful tradition. Entirely apolitical, they were simply […]

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat or … 

… carve a turkey … or slice a banana. Yes. And I’ve witnessed it. As regular readers of this blog will recall, last week I wrote about my grandson’s bar mitzvah. That got me thinking about my own bar mitzvah, back in 1957. That was a significant year. It was when the USSR put the […]

Brownies

Brown E’s for dessert! April Fools’ Day — yes, that’s the correct way to write it — is now a little over a month in the rear-view mirror, and as followers of this blog will be aware, I’ve had other things on my mind since then. Nevertheless, my daughter Naomi found a great way to […]

ZOOM-ing in on an Online Pajama Party

Even though the COVID-19 plague has many of us cocooned safely away at home, for some people, work continues online. For those whose professions require “virtual” meetings, here are a few useful tips: If Time-Zone Follies require you to join a coast-to-coast meeting at “O Dark Thirty” and you haven’t yet managed to brush your […]

The Census Reminds Me of the Weirdest Things

When Sandra and I got a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau on Friday, it reminded me of a joke that my dad, a wonderful raconteur, told me many years ago. With the coronavirus and the political season combining to depress everyone’s mood, I thought it would be nice to lighten up my blog this […]

Trump’s Impeachment Reminds Me of a Soviet Era Joke

Leonid Brezhnev The passions whose flames are being fanned on both sides by the Trump impeachment trial bring to mind a joke that Russians would tell each other (if they felt confident the KGB wouldn’t overhear them) back in the 1970s when I was posted to the U.S. consulate-general in Leningrad (today, St. Petersburg). At […]