When books make you cry.

It can take seconds, but books have an emotional impact well beyond their weight. I get up, walk from the living room, see a hardback version of a favorite book--- I've left it out from sorting my shelf.  It's filled with poems about a war (doesn't matter which one, the…

When Squirrels Attack

Squirrels are adorable terrorists. They're small, agile, cute, destructive, and recently, they attempted to take me out. Muerte. Dead. Doomed. Ixnayed. Rubbed out. Removed with extreme prejudice. Call it what you will, this was a clear attempt on my life. Some background: Our home is more than a century old.…

The Power of Pie

Today is National Pie Day, or Pi Day if you insist on the use of math. As a history professor, I naturally avoid any numbers that are more complex than, say, single digits. It's for our own good. Trust me. However, 3.14 is a number even I can remember, and…

Weight Loss Is Hard

As in, losing weight sucks. There's nothing good about my cyclical winter re-fattening. Here's how it seems to go: Summertime means running outside. Sunshine. Heat. Lots of summer-ish stuff, moving quickly and doing things for the sheer pleasure of being outside because life seems to really pop once the temperature…

The misery of dieting.

I began the Spring Pre-Running Diet. I will fist fight for: pizza, cheese, spicy tuna sushi rolls, cheeseburgers, fried anything, milkshakes, ice cream, pie, waffles, or cake. I will also, at the minimum, wrestle for pancakes, steak, eggs with actual cheese, a bucket of ketchup, mayo on a shoe, bread,…

Cancer took another friend.

Cancer-- the scourge of our lifetime-- took Dr. Lloyd Elliott this week. He was fifty, he was our family veterinarian, and he was a rare individual. My wife and I love our animals. We regard our relationship with them as a kind of covenant, and Dr. Elliott was a huge…

WE LOVE TO BARK.

We have five dogs of various breeds. All love to bark. Barking is their favorite thing, other than sleeping, but barking has to take place in strategically placed time zones in order to maximize its effectiveness. To wit: Barking before 7:00AM? Enthusiastic. Unending. Varying tones, pitches, and reasons. Early morning…
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