The Power of Conditioning

It was a silly, negligible article on what has lately become a silly, negligible website. A wiser person would have let it slide. But it poked me in a tender place, and I am not the kind of person who can just let such a thing go. So instead of shrugging it off with a sigh I took the bait. […]

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A Grandiose Conceit

A few weeks ago, on March 24, we were treated to the spectacle of the First Annual Earth Hour, in which everyone on the planet turned off the lights for one hour, beginning 8:30 p.m. local time, as a gesture of solidarity with this beleaguered planet we call home. OK, so not exactly everyone. Well, truthfully hardly anyone. You might […]

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Out with the Old

When I started this blog a few years ago, it was my intent to write about matters pertinent to computers and the computer business. I stuck with that plan for at least a couple of years. But  computer stuff is really pretty boring; it doesn’t fire me up all that much, nor does it get your motor revving either, I […]

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The Path of Greater Resistance

Or: A Skeptic’s Journey We all have our favorite topics, and the half-dozen or so of you who regularly read this blog undoubtedly know that one of mine is Climate Change, AKA Global Warming, AKA Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, AKA Climate Alarmism. In this subject I have a minority viewpoint, but one that is, I think it fair to say, […]

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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. 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 fences, and […]

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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 a tiny paper airplane, tossed by some unseen hand. Instinctively I glanced around, seeking its origin. 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 […]

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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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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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