Category: Thoughts

New Year’s Resolution

Consume less. Less oil. Less water. Less electricity. In 2007, our family managed to switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless one. We’re exploring solar panels for our roof in 2008. We went from the traditional two-car arrangement to one, augmented by increased bicyle use and forays on public transportation. We intend on...

A Christmas Wish

Once, long ago, in an arid place where life was hard, harder than in the yet undiscovered precincts of what we now call the Americas, a crazy Jew started a cult. Despite the objections of the local authorities, who, like most authorities, preferred the populace to be docile and compliant, the crazy Jew spoke passionately...

Newton’s Law

My Dad, who was notorious for repeating useful nostrums as though they were Gospel, had a limited but effective collection of epigrams he liked to trot out whenever his boys required illuminating instruction. Some of these Rules to Live By were gleaned from his formative years in the Marine Corp, where he learned essential truths,...

In Praise of Rhiannon

Living in a culture where the surest way for a woman to achieve notoriety and celebrity is to inexpertly perform fellatio on a homemade sex tape, disingenuously decry its orchestrated release on the Internet, and then snag a “reality show” that broadcasts her inane yammering in excruciating detail, one desperately needs occasional doses of pure...

Our American System: A Logic Problem

Given: In a capitalist economic system, profiting at the expense of others is permissible and encouraged.  Given: The surest way to business success is to eliminate competition. Given: Government is an institutionalized system of redistributing wealth. Given: American politicians are avowed capitalists, motivated by the same self-interested desires as other devout capitalists. Given: Many laws...

Cutting Scientology Some Slack

Not long ago I attended a concert at the Celebrity Center, on the campus of Scientology headquarters, in the heart of Hollywood. Independent producers like to rent out the theater there because in addition to a good sound and light system, the Celebrity Center offers below-market rental rates in exchange for subjecting the audience to...

Poem: The Tree Regarding Himself

If there is nothing so lovely as a tree, what, in idle moments,  Does a tree gaze upon for pleasure?  The bird, yellow and daft?  The squirrel, dancing from trunk to branch, a ballerina on the bark?   Modesty, Mommy Nature says, is our greatest virtue. Recognize how small and insignificant your roots and branches and...

Learning from the Fires

Thanks to weather that’s more or less perfect year-round, not to mention the best looking waiters in the world, Southern California is a place where many people want to live. Probably too many. Even with the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage industry and foreclosures on the rise, LA and San Diego County still have some...

Tagging

The neighbors down the street, a young couple with a dog, take great care to keep their front yard beautiful. They tend to resplendent white roses, a small menagerie of fruit trees, and flowering shrubs that consistently brighten our bucolic street. They also have a brilliant white stucco wall, about four-feet high that rings their...

Poker’s World Championship on TV

This week, the final hands of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event , the unofficial “world championship” of tournament poker, will be broadcast on America’s unofficial Gambling Network, ESPN. The winner’s name has been public knowledge since July, but if you’ve been following the taped coverage and don’t want to know who earns...