The glossophobe judge

Nice to be appreciated.

Yesterday I served as a judge for an oratorical contest put on by the American Legion. I’m not sure why I agreed to do it. Normally, I scrupulously avoid any activity that might involve meeting new people. I am one of those introverted types who can pass as personable for a few minutes at a time, but eventually the people I’m next to wander away and I […]

A vote for the Nazis

man in the high castle scene

You may have heard that Amazon, in its bid to dominate even more of your life than Facebook, is now soliciting audience opinions on which shows it should develop. Right now there are about a dozen pilots, available here for free. To be honest, most of them look dreadful, but I did take a look at “The Man in the High Castle” and decided to vote for […]

The Boy Who … Lied

boy who came back from heaven

Well, I never saw this coming: The aptly-named Alex Malarkey now wishes to clarify that he didn’t actually die and ascend into Heaven, as he had indicated in the book he and his father co-wrote in 2010. Thus, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” probably wasn’t the most accurate title ever written. Then again, “The Boy Who Was Critically Injured and Spent Two Months in a […]

Better get it on paper


We’ve lived in this old house for nearly five years now, and still don’t have a lot of pictures on the wall. So today I uploaded the above photo of my granddaughter Ruby and ordered an 11×14 print at Walgreen’s. They had it ready in just under an hour. Then I went to Target and got a $22 frame. Now little Ruby rules the landing on the […]

‘Blue Ruin’ rules

blue ruin movie review

Just when you conclude that the Netflix movie catalog really is a steaming pile of two-star manure, you stumble across a gem. That’s what I discovered tonight in “Blue Ruin,” a taut, lean revenge thriller that defies everything you might expect from this sort of film. For starters, it stars nobody you’ve ever heard of, and the protagonist is about as far from Liam Neeson as you […]

A few rules for 2015

New Year's cherub would like your attention.

I no longer make New Year’s resolutions for myself, but I’m happy to make them for everybody else. Here are a few that come to mind after another stroll around my Springfield neighborhood: Vehicle owners: Quit parking on the goddamned sidewalk. Seriously, just quit it. I have refrained from keying your splendid ride for quite awhile now, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to […]

Morning on the water

kayaking thomas creek florida

Today we took the kayaks out to Thomas Creek, which is as a good a way as any to start out a new year. Our friends Ryan and Jackie joined us for an easy paddle on glassy water, a four-mile round-trip under cloudy skies. Temperature was a little under 60 — a pleasant coolness I don’t experience often enough in this part of the country. We met […]