Creating a ‘Newspaper’ for an Audience of One

Visualization of Soviet fighters intercepting KAL 902 I’ve begun reading a fascinating book, Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended, by Jack Matlock, who, as the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, 1987–91, had a bird’s-eye view of history in the making. I’m still in the early chapters of the book, but a few days ago […]

National Geographic Wild — In My Own Backyard

Bull-headed butting. I thought I’d scanned a photo of this phenomenon from my collection of slides taken in India, but I can’t seem to locate it. I found this shot on the web. Have you ever tuned in to the National Geographic Channel and watched a few minutes of creatures demonstrating how survival of the […]

Holiday Letter

Well, it happened again. I missed the deadline for the annual1 holiday letter to friends and family. Happily, I’m still nearly a month ahead of schedule for a Groundhog Day message. So, if you’re tempted to proceed any further, consider yourself among the first to read my breathless (or is it, at age 75, out-of-breath?) […]

Levitation

The illustration above, which I posted tongue in cheek on social media several weeks ago, depicts telekinesis.1 It reminds me of an actual demonstration of physical “levitation” — raising a recumbent person off the ground without actually touching him — that I witnessed some 50 years ago. This is an unvarnished account of what I […]

Want to Avoid Real Estate Agent Commissions? Not a Good Idea!

Over the years, I’ve met a number of people who, when they want to sell their home, try to do it without the help of a real estate agent. From personal experience, I’ve learned that this is not such a great idea. Good agents are worth every penny of the commissions they earn. Here’s how […]

Vinnie Bell, July 28, 1935 – October 3, 2019, RIP

Vinnie and Howard, at Vinnie’s house, a “few” years ago A guitar immortal succumbed to human mortality this week, but his music will long outlive him. Legendary studio guitarist Vinnie Bell (Vincent Gambella) passed away on Thursday, but left us an unsurpassed legacy in scores of hit songs, movie soundtracks and even advertising jingles in […]

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Former U.S. Consulate, Leningrad We had a mini-emergency a few days ago in our senior community/mobile home park in Santa Rosa, California. In the dead of night, the pump that supplies our homes with well water tripped a circuit breaker. In order to be on time to a 7 o’clock meeting the next morning, I […]

Speechless!

Nat Daniel, at 80+ years, clowning around with champagne cork cages at a birthday party If my dad were still alive, he’d be marking his 107th birthday tomorrow (he was born on Sept. 23, 1912). Nat Daniel was a smart, innovative guy.  He was also very funny. So I’ll celebrate on his behalf by regaling readers […]

Streetcorner Blasphemy

Rosslyn’s most notable edifice. The Foreign Service Institute was housed in the glass-walled building at left. Trigger Warning: The following post may offend your religious sensibilities. In a little over two months, Sandra and I will be joining our son Adam and his family in the Washington, D.C., area for Thanksgiving. In beginning to think […]

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, Part Three

Niagara Falls — Horseshoe (“Canadian”) Falls with Hornblower boat as close as it dares It’s back to the East Coast (well, almost — we didn’t get much past Lake Erie) this week, as I wind up this intermittent series on what Sandra and I did on our summer vacation.1 After an al fresco breakfast at […]