Responding to a response to a response to a letter sent to the world

I’m not much of a social media person. I like direct contact, which is why I will fire off an e-mail note to someone whose work or other actions has been particularly impressive. I believe in saying “thanks.” When I recently read a letter to the editor in The New Yorker, I enjoyed the sentiments and felt a parallel with my own experience. So I looked up the writer, and found a web page (so old-school, right?), and (egads!) contact […]

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A pill too far, and other replacements for the joys of life

Last night, I wrote to a friend who brings marvelous energy and thought to a monthly gathering of “men” from our church. I am one of them. I took his invitation to a forthcoming Zoom meeting as prompt to rant. For future excavators of my thoughts, they are offered in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic, our local fall forest fire situation that has put us beneath a cloud of smoke for the last week, the growing political divide, […]

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A fog from a fire and the fog of arrogance and the fog of incompetence and …

I love fog. I’ve got fog, but I don’t love this fog. This fog is the devil spawn of fire. Smoke, shoved west from its forest home by flames a-billion, then back east by a shift in pressure and wind. Now it’s ours to enjoy, and not so much the folks to our west. It’s rated hazardous, on the scale of deep breath-to-stop breathing. North to south, our state is ablaze. Nearly a half-million people have evacuated their homes. They […]

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I gave my card to Debby

Not little Debby, the face of bad pastry. Debby, the Croatian immigre to Montreal, the barista who saw me standing outside her little coffee shop and brought a treat out for our dog and an offer to bring him inside. “We’re pet friendly,” she said. Truer words. Debby loves dogs and took our passage as opportunity to lavish a little love (OK, a LOT of love) on Satchel. “I love animals,” she says, squatting next to Satch and stroking his […]

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Do smoke detectors ruin more lives than they save?

My wife was shaking me. Up, up, up from a dead sleep, I emerged into a room full of smoke … alarm beeps. Shrill and insistent and echoing through the house from one linked alarm to another, the whole damned system was going off and did its job — to a degree. It woke my wife. Not me. I wear ear plugs, not to avoid smoke alarms, but to avoid little disruptive noises like birds outside or my snoring wife […]

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January 2021