I’m interested in the intersection of the mysterious and the absurd, which is to say life.
Roles I’ve had: student, dishwasher, punk rock singer, office clerk, various types of manager, including program, project, and product, bank executive, political candidate, TV producer and director, teacher, freelance writer, stay-at-home dad.
I believe that periodic self-reinvention is a necessity.
I come from a long line of low-end politicians. My paternal great-grandfather was a minister with some stern tedious Protestant sect who ran for the US Congress and lost, settling for a term in the Vermont House of Representatives. …
When I was in grade school, some tie-dyed tree-hugger of a teacher thought it would be fun to teach little kids about the infamous 1972 Club of Rome report The Limits To Growth. The report predicted the upcoming end of human civilization and scared the shit out of pre-pubescent me, who’d previously only had to worry about nuclear annihilation.
If you’re not familiar with the report, MIT researchers used data modeling to predict a high probability that if society continued to pursue unrestricted economic growth, pollution and over-exploitation of resources would lead to economic and social collapse by around the…
I used to work in an office making a shit-ton of money. By 5 am every day I’d have had seven cups of coffee and be on the phone or the email or the chat.
“Buy!” I‘d shout. “Sell!”
“Per my email of March 14th, motherfuckers!” I‘d type, fingertips flushed and swollen with rage.
I wore a $47,000 suit made of skin from a tiger’s testes, the softest material on earth.
I stalked the lunchroom, sneering at the office plebs with their hoagies and hot pockets as I tore into Beef Wellington smeared in foie gras while berating a subordinate…
Then I was fertilized and became wise;
I truly grew and thrived.
From a word to a word I was led to a word,
From a work to a work I was led to a work.
Hávamál, the Poetic Edda
The three women sat spinning under the great ash tree whose green branches spread up and out of sight. A man approached. His face was creased and white-bearded, one eye bore a patch, and he carried a staff, but his step was firm and his pace swift.
One of the trio, a slim, dark-haired girl, called out to him as…
Dear TripAdvisor — I want to warn everyone about a terrible experience that my wife and I had while staying at the Holidays Fantástico Resort Hotel near Cancun, Mexico.
This was our dream vacation, as neither of us had ever left Oklahoma before, and I’m sad to say that after this we never will again.
Firstly, most of the staff were foreigners and very hard to understand when they talked. However, since we usually only interacted with them at the buffet when we had to shout and point for a new plate, it wasn’t too much of a problem.
If you’re not yet convinced that Jeff Bezos is a Bond supervillain, the MIT Technology Review reports that he and fellow rich dude, Yuri Milner, are throwing some of their billions into an anti-aging company called Altos Labs.
Altos has apparently hired some of the best scientists on the planet to research reversal of the aging process. It’s unclear whether these are mad or regular scientists or a mix, but the article notes CV highlights such as “radical attempts at ‘rejuvenating’ animals” and “mixing human and monkey embryos.”
Assuming this research doesn’t escape the lab and lead to widespread reanimation…
The morning sun lit up the kitchen, reflecting off the silver Celtic knot hanging over the back door. Caitlin, tall for sixteen and wearing jeans and a hoody, stood at the counter pushing a toaster waffle into her mouth with her fingers.
Her mother Bridget entered the room and shook her head. “For Lugh’s sake, Caitlin, at least use a fork.”
Caitlin chewed and gulped. “You should be happy. Usually you’re complaining I’m not ready for school fast enough.”
Her mother ignored the sarcasm. “There’s no rush. I can drive you.”
“It’s fine. I’d rather walk.”
Bridget sighed. “You don’t have to…
This week saw crowds of people gathered in front of hospitals across Ontario.
Were they supporting health care workers who’ve given so much in the last eighteen months of pandemic? Nope.
Celebrating the miracle of modern science that‘s allowed us to start putting the brakes on Covid-19 and save hundreds of thousands of lives? Nah.
They’re protesting a law that would require a Covid vaccination certificate before going into higher risk environments where masks can’t always be worn, such as restaurants, gyms, concerts and sporting events.
It’s a reasonable public health measure when dealing with a deadly and uncommonly contagious…
The other day I came across a New York Times article about what we should pack in our Go Bag (for fleeing catastrophe) and our Emergency Kit (for dying in place).
Now, this is info worth having, but what struck me was how quickly the term “Go Bag” — which a few years ago would have been known only to a slightly unhinged cadre of Doomsday Preppers — has entered the common language.
Why? The climate emergency.
It’s been a hot planet summer. Wildfires, drought, hurricanes, heatwaves, floods — yep, the calamity buffet has something for everyone. …
“I know it was wrong, Ms. Zhang,” said Bob Niles to the woman across the desk.
She stared at him in disbelief.
“Bob, a lot of powerful people don’t think chrono-archaeology should be allowed at all. That’s why we trust so few people to go, and why we have ironclad rules around interaction with the local population.
We’re observers only. We cannot demonstrate advanced technologies. We can not harm or save people. We cannot contaminate them in any way.”
Her voice rose to a shout. “And we absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, have sex with them.”
Niles's face grew sad…