As Americans’ traditional feast day approaches, I’ve been considering Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation.  It’s remarkable for its stubborn optimism, achieved in part by de-emphasizing the harsh reality then encompassing the nation. Here’s an excerpt: “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to […]

Now from China comes word that human television newscasters will soon be joined by salary-saving, computer-generated simulations that can work around the clock.  Here’s Xinhua News Agency’s first English-speaking artificial intelligence anchor, bringing you news of its existence: I suppose fake news anchors are the logical next step in technology’s gutting of an honorable profession […]

If you are a long-time follower of this blog (thanks, Mom), you know that my quasi-retirement involves a part-time job at an upscale outdoor store,  at which I work in the clothing and footwear departments. During a recent shift, I was tidying up children’s wear and came upon this impossibly cute item, the Columbia Tiny […]

    What vexes you, L3? (Or perhaps L2; you collude.) Your mysterious mechanics grind; your elegant architecture abrades. Now you speak, now declare age or injury life or experience dissolving what cohered so long ago and early in my mother’s womb. You tiny tadpole, you primitive curiosity: Who could imagine what you would become? […]

For the past few decades, I have behaved ungraciously toward Sally Field, though I know this must hurt her deeply.  Part of it — I admit — is her near-pathological perkiness, the cheery combustibility of the ever-smiling small woman.   Makes you wonder:  Just what is she up to? But if I’m honest, I’m shunning […]

  Pray; tell: What do you keep out? And what, in?

I sometimes regret that I bought a new laptop a year ago, though I was forced into it.  The keyboard on my ancient Lenovo was falling apart; after the “M” key and the little red button beneath it abandoned ship,  I could no longer ail coherent essages Only after acquiring my new machine did I […]

  As you ready, you trouble our leavings: the forgotten feeder, the spilled seed. Your hunger accretes in the dark autumn air. Urgent. Insatiable. Hyperphagia, the scientists say. You say eat. You say drink. As you ready, you dream cubs from the world of spirit, from the world of ancestors. You dream their tiny bodies […]

Up the hill from my home is a cemetery opening onto a foothills trail that leads to a high school track, where a runner long sidelined might begin again, might test against age and injury the possibility of recovery, or at least resilience.   And then might walk home through the cemetery, but not before stopping […]