Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Life as an Instagram Influencer

…and other columns written for my hometown Ohio paper. Not necessarily my most incisive stuff, but then, I don’t really do incisive; I’m more a light reading guy.

The Firm

Let Me In

My Life as an Instagram Influencer

Buckle Up

Cupid: <sigh>

Heritage Day

Hop, Skip and Jump to the Polls



A Tea Towel for Two

Westminster (image googlegrab like the most of the rest + beaucoup graininess)

The Liberty List

Nice to See You, to See You Nice

The Conkers State

London Calling (photo credit: me)

Dear Cyclists


Dear President @realDonaldTrump

The Overseas Oval Office Club
What, you don’t remember President Yoda?

None of the Above
Illustration not specifically made for the story, but what the hell.

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Om te doen

Transparencies, negatives and digital. At least digital – there is helpful software and everything. Completely hopeless of course, so might as well put it at the top of the list.

Where to even begin. By subject? Date? General era?

File photo

Or attic, which is the word I grew up with but which nobody in England seems to use. Googling yields niggling differences. Loft sounds, well, loftier, so we’ll go with that.

This is where things go to accumulate. Boxes from purchases retained “just in case it has to go back.” Suitcases filled with towels, as-new sleeping bags (been camping twice in 20 years), and coats. Clothes which no longer fit but may again some day. Bunny-proofing materials. Scrapboxes—like scrapbooks but in boxes. The fridge that came with the place which my wife still hasn’t forgiven me for hauling up there all by my lonesome. A bike and a half. And a whole lot of odds & ends.

It all needs to be inventoried, then sorted into neat piles and rows. Possibly labelled.

The elephant in the room is a collection of books which resists census. Call it a thousand. Sorry guys, there’s no room downstairs. Though you may end up at ground zero level anyway, if the structural beams don’t hold.

Once or twice I’ve wanted to lay my hands on a book I know is resting there, but given up the search and ordered another one instead.

Seriously, when is this process going to start?

Return to sender

Yes, capture was achieved. Dragged kicking and screaming, I finally went limp and fell into its embrace. “Thou doth protest too much,” it whispered, all-knowing.

It’s important that you know I’m not bitter. No siree! I understand that we can’t all be friends; even on Facebook, where some claim that concept is devalued to near meaninglessness.

It has lately come to my attention that not all of my friend requests have been accepted. While I accept that it isn’t always possible to process applications in a timely fashion, there comes a point when one is faced with the grim reality that potential friends have examined my profile and found me wanting.

What to do? Hold on and hope they see the light? No. Optimism must be tempered by a refreshing cold splash of realism.

It is time to purge my friend request list. With fire. It’s the only way.

Call it an early spring cleaning. It’s Ash Wednesday anyway, no? “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

This really doesn’t belong here…

This is such a scary thing I don’t usually write it down; to put it in a public to do list is unprecedented.

In search of lost time? It’s here, there, and everywhere

I’ve had a book busy not writing itself in my head for years now. Have a title, too, along with domain name which I’ve been paying for, as if that will help move things along. Somebody else has since nicked my title for their own book, which they’ve actually gone and written, but that’s OK, it’s been done before.

Apprendre une autre langue.

This one is old.

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Charles & Camilla’s card apparently got lost in the post, but we have received our traditional Christmas Message from Capita:

click if the music doesn’t automatically load in your head

I couldn’t find a picture of J Hales, so BBC Director-General T Hall will have to do as representative of The Dark Side.

Since I can’t legally watch the queen this afternoon, as law abiding subjects have been doing for generations,

if I need a fix of Liz I’ll either catch her on The Crown, or splice something together in my head.
Lilibet, Leia, and Winnie in happy times
Alas the corgi bounded straight into a sarlacc, Winnie’s “silly game” with the chains was already turning deadly serious, and the young queen was advised to flee by her trusted advisor and Twi’lek Tommy, just out of shot, to avoid a diplomatic incident on Tatooine. Needless to say all quite noncanonical and not a little confusing, but it was a long time ago.…

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Pumped for Trump

OK, I’m going to lay my cards on the table. I voted Trump.

Meme generator in same vicinity as rage generator

No, I didn’t. Let me repeat: I did not vote for Donald Jehoshaphat Trump to be President of the United States of America. That was just an experiment to see how you felt immediately after reading it. Pleasure at finding a kindred spirit? Pity? Disgust or even rage bordering on nausea?

Rage so great it can be seen from space

Did you even get past the first sentence (let alone the headline) in order to read this plot twist, or are the saloon doors still rattling back and forth from the speed of your exit?

There’s a not-quote-apropos YouTube moment for everything

The truth is, I voted none of the above, which in the eyes of some Democrats makes me just as bad as the people who voted Nader in 2000. (I voted Nader in 2000.)

And a butterfly flapped its wings

Not long after abstaining from my civic duty, I then had the audacity to hope that it was too early to call Trumpageddon.

This is a view I still hold.

I can read* (*the question is what one should be reading) and observe exquisitely unpresidential press conferences. I see how it looks. Amateur hour with clowns at the head table.

Check please

And yet, I can’t help but feel that anyone this widely reviled by the forces arrayed against him, including a press corps which made him despite themselves and is itching to unmake him (with the tremendous help of unforced errors), and political opponents more concerned about their stalled career trajectories than the nation’s stability, can’t be all bad.

He also seems inclined to want to act on his campaign promises.*

Sure he’s got his bad points, like clumsily showing concern for America’s borders by wanting to build a wall instead of a fence, or having disturbing tendencies to occasionally speak ugly truths (e.g., “for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation…”, “You think our country’s so innocent?”) in between ugly tweets. His every syllable isn’t scripted like a Hillary Clinton’s, and a lot of people like a script.

Setting aside the pesky line of succession, I’m sure we can all think of a hundred other qualified applicants for head of state.

He’ll do

If you’re in the IMPEACH HIM NOW crowd

or the coup d’état crowd

When all you have is a guillotine, every problem looks like a neck

or even the please-report-yourself-to-the-Secret-Service crowd

Tainting the grassy knoll brand forevermore

imagine the almighty turmoil the country would go through if there were a transfer of power in the current climate. Remember that 60 million of your fellow Americans voted for him. They had their reasons, just as you did yours for voting Clinton, or third party, or not at all.

Maybe you have imagined it

Worst. Weather. Ever.

and still feel it’s worth it; maybe you’d be right. It’s something thoughtful people should be able to debate in a reasonable way.

Like a helping of irony with that?

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