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Unexpected Pockets of Beauty

Pen and Ink drawing by Paul Geissler; 1951

The early years of the six-member Arnold household were lean. Mom was a genius at devising recipes with hamburger. There was no disposable income. There were no luxuries. The bank account was like the proverbial turnip from which no monetary blood could be squeezed. Vacations were never to the beach or mountains or theme parks. … more

Broke in Malibu or How I Met Angelina Jolie

Broke in Malibu or How I Met Angelina Jolie

In the early 1970’s both my sister and I heeded the call to “head west.” I was fleeing multiple failures in my attempts at higher education; a hippie lifestyle did not make for academic discipline or offer much professional opportunity unless you were a rock star or a cannabis farmer. I was neither. Most of … more

Often Wrong; Never in Doubt

French political cartoon; Henri Meyer, Illustrator; 1898

A few Thanksgivings ago the Arnold clan made up of the four families, plus guests (no we’re not a part of the southern mafia), gathered under one roof to celebrate the day. The weather was mild enough to enjoy being outside, so when not feasting around the tables, many folks chose to move outdoors. The … more

My Best Self

My Best Self

Oh how we love to look at ourselves. We keep returning to any available mirror to be sure that what we judged acceptable at the start of the day remains in place until we collapse into bed at night exhausted from self-criticisms or fears of judgment and scorn of others. Most of us don’t have … more

Saving The World

French Vintage advertising poster

The world needs saving, and not by a conglomerate of handsome and beautiful super heroes as appealing as they are to behold. Have you ever noticed how much destruction goes into saving the planet whenever the super heroes marshal their powers to vanquish evil? Could this be the meaning of the phrase, “Omelets are not … more

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

One day when I was in high school I saw a truck pull into our driveway. The body of the truck was well used: coating of dirt, rust spots, some dings and dents. A guy got out and started ambling up the brick walkway to the front door. I recognized him as a fellow student … more

The Great Bicycle Crash of 2001

Cover Art - The rarely used Velocipede

I love it when I make Kay laugh. When she laughs, all’s right with the world. Kay has what I call the pratfall sense of humor. She can watch a collection of videos on AFV where people are engaged in all sorts of shenanigans and end up falling on their bums, and her amusement will … more

Mob Rule

Mob Rule

The piñata and the unicorn have something in common for our family. It is an unusual union. Back in the day, I took a swing or two at a piñata, most likely after a couple of beers and the encouragement of the crowd; certainly with no malice to destroy a papier-mâché object or with a … more

Making a Monster

Making a Monster

Find some discarded body parts; grab a tool box: hack-hack, saw-saw, cut-cut, stitch-stitch, read up on your ancient alchemy (copies at every local library, I’m sure), add a jolt of electrical energy, a splash of elixir, and voila, you have a creature. The creator might call it his “baby.” Some might call it an oddity. … more

Highways of Death

Highways of Death

My lovely wife Kay has never met a stretch of highway that intimidated her. Regardless of which side of the public thoroughfare a country has chosen to dictate its traffic flow, she has never been concerned with the directional markings painted on the road. Staying inside designated lanes is not a priority: “Too confining,” she … more