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Hang a Left at the Goat

Since childhood I have had the pleasure of living in The Republic of South Austin, AKA Bubbaland. South Austin is to Austin proper as Billy Carter was to Jimmy. It is the slightly seedy, sometimes embarrassing poor relation that’s always been a little off. Land of pawn shops and pink plastic flamingos, yard art, couches on the front porch, chain-link […]

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Generally Speaking

As is my wont two or three times a week, I was headed over to the Veloway for a little cardiovascular maintenance the other morning. The preferred route is almost all highway:  up South First to 290 westbound; switch to Mopac southbound; exit la Crosse. Quick and easy. But it was a little later than usual and the customary pathways […]

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Life and Non-life

It fluttered soundlessly to earth at my feet, like the world’s smallest paper airplane, tossed by some unseen hand. Instinctively I glanced around. Where did that come from? Headed down the sidewalk in a hurry, thinking hard about assorted this and thats, I had almost missed it. Had I not happened to notice, my next footfall would have crushed it. […]

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In a New York Minute

Like most people, I am more or less a captive of my habits. For example, Monday mornings are reserved for riding, period. And it’s for health, not for fun, so this appointment is more or less sacrosanct. But Monday traffic is also usually the heaviest of the week, so unless you get moving really early, you end up having to […]

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The Fit Life

As some anonymous wit once drily noted, “after forty, it’s patch, patch patch.” And when you pass that milestone, sooner or later you find out the hard way that it is very much true. So to keep the parts in good working order, the wise person fashions some kind of fitness regimen. It can take a while to find just […]

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Critique Me, Critique You

A few weeks ago, I published an essay in this space critiquing the recent March for Science, which coincided with Earth Day 2017. The March had been represented as a non-political demonstration of grass-roots support for continued funding of basic scientific research. Fair enough. But in reality it was, of course, a highly political, highly public rejoinder to the Trump […]

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Blue and Gray, Black and White

A Brief-ish, Modestly Revisionist History of the American Civil War Today is Memorial Day, when all of us collectively honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans by firing up the ol’ grill, swilling a few cold ones, and then heading on over the Home Depot for that great Holiday Sale Extravaganza. Movie channels will run all the old […]

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One! Two! Three! What are we Marching For?

Hint: It ain’t Science Just a few days ago we celebrated Earth Day, 2017, during which all of us paused for a moment to share our appreciation for our home planet, this verdant and fecund oasis in the endless vacuum of space. Gaia says “Thank you,” by the way. In addition to the usual festivities, this year we were treated […]

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A Timely Brush with Mortality

In the end, it had to have been the breakfast tacos. They and the good-natured bantering with the young fellow who made them had become an essential part of my morning, six days a week. There were other factors, of course, and it was a long time coming. But those nuggets of pure flavor from the busy little trailer on […]

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True Grit

My first encounter with the little chow-mix dog did not exactly go as planned. Aloof to the point of chilly, unresponsive to all invitations, skinny and filthy beyond belief, Paris, as she was then known, seemed at first blush to be pretty much a dud. And this was a problem. The girlfriend had talked her up as the perfect choice […]

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An Open Letter to the Readers of Salon

Or: Global Warming, Meet Lysenkoism; You Two Have a Lot in Common!   While wallowing in the bloom of online post-election bloviation the other day, I chanced across this entrancing article on Salon. Being a reliable voice of the American Left, Salon can be counted on to deliver the party line on whatever issue has momentarily captured the zeitgeist. And […]

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It’s Election Day–Now Get Out There and Vote Dammit!

Or Don’t Finally, after a grinding, seemingly endless couple of years, the 2016 election is at last upon us. The end. Billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of man-hours expended, and it comes down to this. For one side exultant triumph awaits; for the other, bitter defeat. For all of us, winners and losers alike, there is utter exhaustion […]

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Agents of Change

A few months back, a neighbor at my business park had a garage sale. Their space had been the warehouse for a well-known local retailer, but the business was about to change hands, so some housekeeping was in order. I dropped by an hour or so before the sale was to begin. You could see right away that it was […]

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Red in Tooth and Claw

So there I was, headed for home after stopping at the dollar store to gather the usual sundries. As I passed through the busy parking lot, seeking the exit, something caught my eye. Off to the left, a short distance away was a pair of male grackles, going hard at it, a small vortex of fury on a sea of […]

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Of Myths and Realities

A while back, I wrote an essay in this space in which I shared some views on gender-related issues. God knows why anyone would ever willingly stray into that minefield, but this is my forum and I can say what I want. So often, works devoted to this rather touchy subject devolve into one of two extremes, being either rants […]

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