A Modern Desultory Philippic


There are things that trouble me these days. Just to name a few:

  1. Too many things are going on in the world. Far too many. Can’t people live within their means? Can’t they help those less fortunate before things get too salty out there? Can’t we accept someone else’s opinions without hysterics?
  2. I have too little time to read. Or write. There are too few books out there worthy of my time, and when I ask someone what they think of my latest book, they say, “Whaaat?”
  3. Taxes are too complicated. And the money never goes for things I’d like it to.
  4. I’m aging way too fast.  That look in the morning mirror no longer seems like a photo – now it’s more like a movie.
  5. It’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
  6. All the things I like to eat are bad for me and put weight on me.
  7. Everyone I know has too many problems –  health-wise and otherwise.
  8. I used to be 1-1/2 inches taller than I am now. I don’t like that.
  9. Going somewhere on a commercial airliner is miserable and cramped. And no one offers me a ride there in their Lear jet.
  10. I don’t go to movies much anymore. And if the guy sitting in front of me is wearing a long black overcoat he won’t take off, I’m outta there.


All this to say that 2018 is going to mean changes for me. I’m not sure yet what they are, but you’ll see some evidence of them on this blog. Now, I admit there are a lot of blogs out there. And mine may seem the least consequential one you’ve ever read. I’m pretty sure, though, that readership ups and downs will be paralleled by the number and attitude of my posts. Yes, the picture above is of me, taken on a particularly bad day. It takes readership to keep this blog going, so if you want me to clean up, make a big deal of it every time I post.


Visit our website here, where you’ll find more on books and media. There’s also a Facebook fan page if you can find it. On both you’ll discover more on ideas and events that matter to us — and possibly to you.


How Versatile Can You Get?


Friend David Frauenfelder has just this morning nominated me – and several other of his friends, including Lyn Fairchild Hawks and Susan Rountree for consideration, as Dave put it, “A Versatile Blogger Chain Thingie,” an attempt to recognize bloggers for their, well, versatility. And we’re supposed to tell readers some seven interesting things about ourselves before we nominate other versatile bloggers. But rest easy – i’ll be brief.

  1. I’ve had seven surgeries, and lived to tell about them.
  2. I’m left handed, but can only uses scissors with my right hand.
  3. I attended the U.S. Naval Academy – – for a while.
  4. I worked as a structural engineer for some years.
  5. I’ve lived in Japan.
  6. I’m 5′ – 8″ and I played basketball. Still have a passion for it.
  7. I wrote my first novel by rising at 4 AM and writing until time to go to work. Obviously, I went to bed early during those months.

Okay. I think I’m at the end of my food chain in this blogger chain thingie, i.e., all the blogs I read regularly have preceded me in this, but there are a couple of famous ones I MUST mention:

  1. Grumpy Old Bookman – This one is pretty much depicted by it’s name. The proprietor, 75 year-op Michael Allen, from Dorset, England, posts infrequently these days, but his posts are always interesting, and can sometimes be irreverent.
  2. The Millions – this one hardly needs my support; it’s one of the best and most widely read blogs going on books.

So there ’tis. Please, if you’re a blogger stumbling upon this, take the slender thread I proffer to continue this.

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.