Step right up

I marked the end of summer the same way I did as a kid, with a trip last week to the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck. I’ve been to the giant Ohio State Fair, and our own New York edition in Syracuse, and I can promise that you don’t need to go any farther then […]

Refrigerator boxes

I’m not a believer in signs and portents, that is, signs and portents in this, the real world. Nothing has ever happened to me that told me what was to come, or even gave me a hint I was heading in anywhere like the right direction. Mine is a plain old world. It’s probably why […]

The Short Clam Ride, and the Long

I exercise so I can eat, that is, eat more. So it should come as no surprise that all bike rides must, for me, end at destinations with food. I’d call it the carrot method, but I seldom have anything that healthy. From here in northern Pelham, I can go on two of my favorite […]

Harlan Ellison’s soldiers of the future

Wired magazine’s write-up of two 1964 episodes of The Outer Limits was so intriguing, I had to watch them. At least one is worth the $1.99 to Amazon or whichever is your by-the-episode video purveyor of choice. Both were written by science fiction great Harlan Ellison. That’s almost always enough for me. And both installments […]

RFP for Starfleet

This is the best story to run on page one of the New York Times in a year: DARPA, the Defense Department R&D arm, is going to award $500,000 to figure what it would take to send  people to another star. That’s right, government research bucks for interstellar travel, a ship to Alpha Centauri. DARPA won’t […]

My Rip Van Winkle tale

I have for you a tale in the Rip Van Winkle line, though this one is true, and rather than being about one man disappearing for 20 years, it’s about a local town losing its founding Dutch family for 300. I was reminded of it while stopping off in Amsterdam last week following our visits […]

Of the wild wild east

I’ll offer a bit of a travelogue on our Russian trip after last week’s more personal journal about our return to the Tyumen Baby Home, where our son Patrick spent the first nine months of his life. *** You know of Moscow and St. Petersburg, have read about them, seen them on TV and in […]

A journey back home

TYUMEN, RUSSIA — The Tyumen Baby Home looks something like an American elementary school built in the 1930s. A few cracked bricks here and there, but the place is in good shape, as it was almost 10 years ago. Playground equipment of iron painted in bright primary colors tells you this is a place for […]

One good turn…

I arrived at the Backspace Writers Conference in May late for the best part. I had volunteered to be a parent advocate at a special ed meeting, the meeting had gone poorly due to bad behavior by school administrators, and I walked into the query-critique session just as it was ending. The critiques are why […]