In this section are thoughts on whatever comes to mind,
no limit on topics, written for this web site. When
I get the impulse, I’ll write thoughts and add them to
what’s already here (I don’t plan on ever deleting any
thoughts). For each thought, there will be a title,
length, the month and year I wrote it, a blurb on what
it’s about, and a PDF of the thought.
To get a sense of who I am and how I see things and
what's going on with me, you could read these thoughts in
order beginning with "On Foucault," the June, 2007
thought. The thoughts are self-contained, however, and you
can read them in any order.
If the PDFs are oversize, adjust them to accommodate your
Beginning in 2018, I'm going go put the latest thought
at the top rather than at the bottom.
the Leopold-Loeb Case, 2 pp., July, 2021.
These days in retirement, I go wherever my impulses take
try to figure anything out, I just do what I’m told.This
past weekend, it was a book on a murder case from the
1920s, the Leopold-Loeb case, that I had heard about all
of my life.Two
rich college students from Chicago murdered a young boy
for the excitement of it—or something like that, that’s
as much as I
the thought here.
On What The New York Times Didn’t Consider Fit to
Print, 2pp., June, 2021.
I submit comments now and again to articles in The
New York Times.Some are accepted, some not.Here’s a
comment that was
silence—they don’t even let me know why a comment is
the thought here.
• On the West
Memphis Three, 3 pp., June, 2021.
After a long lifetime of paying little attention to true
crime, suddenly I’m caught up with it. The latest,
the West Memphis
Three case. Read the thought here.
• On the Flashy Uniform Challenge, 1 p., May, 2021.
Here’s a picture of two guys who I think set the upper
limit for flashy uniforms. My challenge to you is
to come up with a flashier
uniform than these two did. Bet you
can’t. See the picture here.
Canadian Serial Killers, 4 pp., April, 2021.
It’s been Canadian serial killer week for me.All of the
cases I’ll refer to here received enormous media
attention in Canada,
one of them in
the early 1990s and the other three around 2010. I hadn’t
known of any of them until the last few days. Read the
• On What’s Wrong
with Baseball, 5 pp., April, 2021.
I’m a big fan of New
York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick.This thought
is an email I sent to him in response to his
column of April 17th, 2021 entitled “Exploiting Shift is
Just Part of Playing True Winning Baseball.”Read the
On Tim O’Brien (and Me), 4 pp., March, 2021.
Tim O’Brien (1946-) is an American novelist. I’ve spent the
past couple of days with O’Brien in a way, or I suppose
reacting to him.
First, I watched the 2021 documentary on him, “The War
and Peace of Tim O’Brien,” which inspired me to
read his 2019 book, Dad’s Maybe Book.Read the
complete thought here.
Staying Clear of Straight Men, and Whether Gerard
Depardieu Could Be Any Fatter, 2 pp., March, 2021.
“Let the Sunshine In,” released in 2017,
is a superbly made film.Dialogue, cinematography, editing, Juliette
every other actor, first
classy, worth my time.That acknowledged, I found it one-note and
complete review here.
On Not Taking What Isn’t Freely Given, 3 pp.,
The past couple of months, I have been looking for ways
to come at a fundamental issue: how should I be with
other people? Read
the thought here.
• On MaeBorenAxton,
pp., February, 2021.
I’ve decided that Mae Boren Axton had nothing to do with
writing Elvis’ first big national hit, “Heartbreak
• On Honing Our Instrument, 2pp., February, 2021.
A young man wrote me asking about the late
William Pierce’s daily habits—I wrote a book on Pierce
two decades ago--and I
mentioned that Pierce
munched on small chewy candies from a big bowl
throughout his very long workday, I presume for the
high it gave him.The young man
immediately got back to me asking, I believe seriously,
whether I thought the
candy-munching was a good practice, and I
I looked over the few sentences I had jotted down to
young man, it struck me they summarize
what I think each if us needs to get in place in order
to up our chances of living well,
so decided to share what I wrote with you here.See the
On the Working Poor, 2 pp., December, 2020.
The past couple weeks, I
watched three films that, tied together, I found
artistically superb, personally moving, and very
thought-provoking.Read the thought
• On the Sensei and William Saroyan, 2 pp., November,
Trump’s lost and I’m sitting here on this leather couch
letting my mind go where it will and aikido classes I
took years ago pops
into my head.Read
the thought here,
• On How
to Deal with People Like Me, 5 pp., November, 2020.
My grade school and high school friend Ed, as I’ll call
him, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, now a retired dentist,
has an e-mailing list
of people, which includes me, he regularly send things
to that strike him as worth sharing.Read the
Making Sense of the Here and Now, 3 pp., November,
The 2020 World Series has just ended.The manager of
the losing team, the Tampa Bay Rays, took his star
pitcher Blake Snell out
of the deciding game--prematurely, so it was
asserted--in the fifth inning.Read the
• On Being a Life Example to Others, 2pp., October,
At this writing, Amy Coney Barrett has completed two
days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee
as part of her
confirmation as a justice on the Supreme Court.Watching the
televised proceedings, I was taken by Amy’s manner.Read the
• On Robert Firestone, 2 p., October, 2020.
I’m bigger on self-help literature than most people. There’s the idea
prevalent that reading science fiction or true crime is
giving time and effort to reading about what’s holding
you back from living as well as possible is decidedly
I see it. For example,
consider the writings of psychologist Robert Firestone.Read the
• On What Some
Songs Add Up To, 6 pp. September, 2020.
Last night, I watched a YouTube of singer Bobby
Hatfield, who was half of a duo called The Righteous
the song “Unchained Melody” on the Andy Williams
television show on NBC back in 1965.Read the
Advice to a Young Teacher, 3 pp., September, 2020.
A former student of mine when I taught teacher education
courses in the university is now in her late twenties
and a high school
English teacher in the midwestern part of the United
stays in touch with me by email.This thought
is a portion of my
most recent reply to her.Read it here.
Joanna Hogg, 2 pp.,August,
Joanna Hogg is a British film director and screenwriter,
and from the three films I’ve seen of hers—she’s made a
total of four—she
is truly brilliant.Read the complete review
Rejection Hook, 6 pp., July, 2020.
As long as I can remember, I have been attempting to
make sense of, and personally deal with, what I have
come to call a
“rejection hook” that keeps me from living as well as I
would like to.Read
the thought here.
• On Krzysztof Kieślowski, 3 pp., June, 2020.
(1941-1996) was a Polish film director and screenwriter,
and in my view, a truly great artist.
Read the thought here.
the Casey Anthony Murder Case, 3 pp., May, 2020.
I had a good experience with a couple of true-crime
books by attorneys for the prosecution and defense in
the Casey Anthony murder
trial in 2011.Read
the complete thought here.
•On Saying Goodbye to Michael Jordan,
5 pp., May, 2020.
I’m sitting on my leather couch watching a sports
documentary called “Jordan Rides the Bus,” and about
twelve minutes into it,
it washes over me, “What the hell am I watching this
silliness for?”Read the complete thought here.
My Box Seat, 3 pp., May, 2020.
I find my dreams to be lessons on what is currently
going on with me. I’ll
analyze last night’s dream and the meaning I gave it as
a way of suggesting that you do the same kind of thing
with your dreams. Read
the analysis here.