My People’s Nonchalant Regard for the Facts

Someone at your memorial will speak the facts. They’ll say you were born then and died now, describe the work you spent your life doing, mention the people you loved who are still alive and the ones who died before you. Everyone in the room will already know those...

Death’s Practical Jokes Are Better Than Ours

I’ve reached the age where I seem to be attending more funerals than weddings. One of my uncles died this morning. Oddly enough, he expired in his doctor’s office. Right place, but evidently the wrong time. He was my mother’s older brother, but my...

Nine Ways To Tell If You’re A Raccoon

I pity Sigmund Freud, because he didn’t have Facebook. I feel bad for Karl Jung, and Carl Stumpf, and those other fathers of modern psychology too. How were they able to drag this discipline out of its infancy without the armada of diagnostic tools that’s recently...

A Song of Blubber and Ice

Alaskan Cruise, Days 10 and 11 – At Sea If a cruise is going to suck, it will probably suck on the days you’re at sea. You paid to visit fascinating places by ship. When you’re not at the fascinating places, you’ve just got ship. I grant that it’s a marvelous ship,...

The Perfect Alaskan Day I Didn’t Want

Alaskan Cruise, Day 6 – Wilderness Exploration Today we went on a “breathtaking tour in which renowned naturalists, magnificent wildlife and an exploration of six ecosystems – ocean, estuary, river, lake, muskeg and rainforest – await in this town aptly...