Choosing my new icon

According to Mirriam-Webster, there are several definitions of the word “icon.” I bring this up because WordPress gave me the opportunity to change the icon associated with this blog yesterday, when I decided to change the theme for the first time in several years. I don’t know what the theme was called. or what theContinue reading “Choosing my new icon”

An original poem for these times

I have found great comfort over the past few years from reading poetry. The way I see it, there are hundreds of poets, and thousands of works that they’ve created—who knows how many there are, even?—and even if I can only make sense of a small fraction of them, I’m still better off than IContinue reading “An original poem for these times”

Here’s what I want for my birthday this year

One of the best things about joining Facebook is that once a year, on your birthday, you hear from dozens of people, from just about every stage in your life. And all of them want to celebrate the day you were born, in one way or another. Facebook makes it easy, too. Not only doContinue reading “Here’s what I want for my birthday this year”

A message to my younger self

When I found this picture in a box of old photos a few days ago, I knew right away it was going on my blog. I’m 22 years old in this moment, fresh out of college and ready for whatever Life throws at me. The much older man who is sharing this image from theContinue reading “A message to my younger self”

“By necessity, we all quote”

Yesterday I wrote a post in this space about the passing of my dog, and I opened with a picture of my dog and a quote about how regrettably short a dog’s life can be. I’ve always been one who enjoys a good quote, something so profound that I wish I had said it myself.Continue reading ““By necessity, we all quote””

Working through the grief

“Dogs’ lives are too short.  Their only fault, really.”  – Agnes Sligh Turnbull One of the things I’ve been doing during the COVID-19 lockdown is finding interesting quotes from people, about all manner of things. I send an email every morning to sign in for work, and I’ve become very fond of hunting for quotesContinue reading “Working through the grief”

The Gambler and the Bungler

I was sad to hear that Kenny Rogers died at age 81, even though I’ve never been a fan of Country music. The Gambler was an engaging story of doing what you can, while you can. The best that we can hope for is to die in our sleep. A few years ago I wouldContinue reading “The Gambler and the Bungler”

FU Coronavirus (Part 1)

My blog was birthed in a bolt of inspiration at a garage sale back in 2011. Or maybe it was a yard sale. Here’s the first post I ever wrote, and it turns out it was a garage sale. But the point was I went out of my way, spent a little money, and wantedContinue reading “FU Coronavirus (Part 1)”

Broken eggs and the end of my blog

  Today’s the first time I’ve put anything into this space since June 11, which represents a span of dormancy that never would have happened in the first six years I wrote this blog. At one point I was averaging ten posts a week, and sometimes five or six posts would erupt from my mindContinue reading “Broken eggs and the end of my blog”

About that wall…

The first week of the new presidency has shocked and alarmed everyone that I know. It’s an onslaught on the nation that still is, and will always be, my home. Since I love America, I’m willing to fight for it. I won’t sit and watch as our water is imperiled, our openness to immigration isContinue reading “About that wall…”

A new word for these times

Portmanteau is a concept that we all live with everyday. It’s taking two–or sometimes more–words and combining them to form a new word. My dog, for example, is a schnoodle, or a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle. Other portmanteu words include jeggings, listicle, and threepeat. The malleability of English guarantees that new wordsContinue reading “A new word for these times”

An amazing 48 hours

It’s been just about 48 hours–give or take a few minutes–since Kris Bryant threw over to first base to end the Cubs’ long championship drought. In an instant, a lifetime of losing was washed away. The “loveable losers” never existed in the first place, but that concept went away forever on the night of NovemberContinue reading “An amazing 48 hours”

Trying to understand

The picture above dates to 1998, and it shows a much younger, much thinner version of me during my teaching days on the south side of Chicago. This was taken in the days before cameraphones, or even before digital photography, with an old school camera. They were fun because you wound up with a printContinue reading “Trying to understand”

A beauty of a poem about America

One of my favorite books is titled “Our American Heritage” and it was edited by Charles L. Wallis, and published by Harper & Row in 1970. My recollection is that I purchased it at the Newberry Library‘s annual book sale at least 10 years ago, and perhaps even closer to 20 years by now. It’sContinue reading “A beauty of a poem about America”

Five Years and Counting

I wanted to start a blog for a long time–probably for at least a year–before I actually did it. But I put off doing it, because I thought there was some special quality I was lacking. Others who “blogged” (the word was still new and unusual back then) had it, whatever it was, and IContinue reading “Five Years and Counting”

Saying thanks to The New Yorker

Many years ago (almost 34 years, to be exact) I wrote a letter to the editor of a wrestling magazine. The young teenager that I was at the time watched a lot of professional wrestling on TV, and they were to me what Batman and Superman were for those who read comic books. Dusty Rhodes,Continue reading “Saying thanks to The New Yorker”

Year 6, begin!

  I started writing this blog in the summer of 2011, which means this is my sixth year of putting words and pictures here for posterity to look at some day. In 2015, my blog was viewed in 82 countries, and on every continent except Antarctica. The number of viewers has never interested me veryContinue reading “Year 6, begin!”

My new toy

Can it really be that December is more than half over and I haven’t written a thing for this blog all month? Perhaps the thrill is gone, perhaps I’m working too much, or perhaps it’s the holidays. Whatever it is, my writing in other places has come to a stop too, except for a recentContinue reading “My new toy”

4 more years?

I wanted to have a blog for a long time before I started this one, four years ago today. What held me back? I have no idea. But now that I’ve spent four years–and who knows how many hours sitting in front of a keyboard–throwing my thoughts and images out into the world, I canContinue reading “4 more years?”

If you’re an idiot and you know it

Social media has taught the SAE fraternity, and all the rest of us who are paying attention, an important lesson: Don’t be an asshole, even for a few seconds. And when you sing racist songs, you are an asshole. What I haven’t yet heard anyone say is that the racist tune that was sung onContinue reading “If you’re an idiot and you know it”

Life after Facebook

I first joined Facebook back in early 2009, right after Barack Obama was sworn in for the first time. I had lots of fun through the years, reconnecting with classmates, neighbors, former colleagues, students of mine, and assorted cousins and family members. It was–and still is–ubiquitous among all the different forms of social media. SoContinue reading “Life after Facebook”

Friends and family–the final part

After a day of downloading and deleting from Facebook, the final round of images appear below. I don’t really know what, if anything, Facebook was planning to do with these images once I agreed to their new Terms of Service in 2015. But I’m not going to find out, either. They’ll have billions of imagesContinue reading “Friends and family–the final part”