The Most Powerful Words We Can Say to Our Children

We lead by example. Sometimes, we lead by bad example, and “Do as I say, not as I do,” can be very sound advice to a child. But it’s not the most important or powerful phrase a parent ever uttered – it’s more of a last ditch hope that our children won’t follow in our own Read More …

Iron and Rust

The four-legged cast-iron Dutch oven sat just outside the kitchen window, masquerading as a planter for wild things. Tetanus, maybe. Running a hand across its rust-roughened surface, it was hard to tell if it had sprouted tumors or succumbed to the pitting of an acid rain. I had an uneasy, love-hate relationship with cast iron Read More …

Women!

There’s a lot of rancor on the Internet, much of it centering around social justice, race, relations and equality between men and women, sexual identity, and religion. So when someone finds a way to express frustration and drive a serious point home with good-natured humor, it tends to bring down the defenses and get people Read More …

Under the Weather

Houston’s been a bit “under the weather” for the past week. Unless you live overseas or under a rock, you’ve probably seen just how bad things got, here, last week. A historic, “500-year flood,” the extent of which set records. Things are slowly getting back to normal – that is, the roads are passable and Read More …

Octopuses? Octopi?

It’s a story that rivals any escape from Alcatraz. Inky, the Octopus, “squeezed through a slight gap at the top of his tank, flopped to the floor, then slithered about eight feet overland to slide down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long, and finally to plop into the bay.” That would be Hawke’s Bay, on Read More …

Reverse Search: For Everything (and Everyone) You’d Rather Lose

Facebook, this morning, decided that I should search for Donald Trump, based on the posts I’d interacted with. Once I got past the visual of me batting around a Facebook post like a cat bats around a mouse, two things occurred to me: First, this is the problem with companies assuming they know you so Read More …

Unrealistic Expectations: Why Our Snowflakes Suffer Meltdown

One of the first articles I ran across, this morning, was from a woman bemoaning the fact that her children had picked up extravagant, over-the-top expectations for every holiday, real or imagined. This phenomenon isn’t as new as she thinks it is. I have slightly cringe-worthy memories of taking custom-made, white chocolate lollipops shaped like Read More …

The Twisting of Genres is the New World Order

Years ago, there were only a handful of genres. In fact, you could count them on your hands. This fact held true for literature as well as music. Both art forms have evolved over the years and those old-guard rules simply no longer apply. Readers have risen above the stodginess of tradition and expect more. Read More …

When a Robot Calls

There’s a fine line between amazingly effective advertising and marketing and super-creepy advertising and marketing. Somewhere in between, there are election campaigns, opinion polls, and research. Closer to the creepy end of the spectrum, there are robot dialing machines that call you – and hang up when you answer. Candidates and corporations are taking “imposition” Read More …

Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead Trees

I will confess, here and now, that I love my nook and Kindle devices. I knew that I would not like the look or feel of a tablet, for reading – though many do –  so I bought the eInk versions and invested in nice, leather covers for both of them, so that the sensation Read More …

Don’t We Ever Grow Weary of Fighting?

I’m tired of the word “fight” and all it represents. Just out of curiosity, I did a quick search of my inbox for emails containing the word “fight.” There are over 600 of them since January 1, alone. 600 emails talking about fighting, enjoining me to fight for a cause, against an atrocity, for or Read More …

Ash Wednesday: Observing Lent from a Secular Perspective

Why Observe Lent at All? I’m neither atheist nor religious. Growing up Protestant, I never really “gave up” anything for Lent – maybe chocolate or candy for the first three days of Lent, but not with any mindful, spiritual intent. During a year at Catholic school, I “gave up” meat on Fridays, opting instead to Read More …