THIS SITE could have a better name than mine with “dot com” tacked on to it. I had considered Introduction to Ratiocinations Out of Thin Air as a title—and that would have been a great title, if a confusing title. So we’re stuck with Neal Umphred Dot Com. As someone once famous once said, “So it goes.“ 1 Either way, readers are confronted with two rather uncommon words (although alien has been used in reference to one of them): Umphred and ratiocination. The family name appears to be of Scottish origin, which explains why Laphoaig tasted like the water of life with my first… Continue Reading INTRODUCTION

harry dean stanton made clint eastwood seem downright garrulous

READING ABOUT MOVIES before the Internet, I often came across descriptions of Gary Cooper as being Hollywood’s most laconic actor. That’s not a common word, nor one that was taught in the classrooms of America in the ’60s. According to Merriam-Webster, Cooper was “using or involving the use of a minimum of words,” which does sum up many of the characters he played in his day. A secondary definition of laconic is “concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious.” I suppose the other characters in Cooper’s movies could have interpreted the quiet, often stern demeanor of the… Continue Reading harry dean stanton made clint eastwood seem downright garrulous

it’s an urban myth that husbands never listen to their wives

I DON’T SPEND MUCH TIME on Facebook or the other social media platforms. I use them to call attention to my three websites (and soon to be four). Since I spend most of my time writing thises and thats for those sites, I rarely visit the Facebook pages of my Facebook friends. Sometimes I feel guilty about this—you know, being so goram self-absorbed, seeming like I never pay attention or never listen to anyone—so occasionally I take time and visit a friend’s page and make a bunch of comments. Today saw me spending time on longtime friend Sharon Gayeski’s… Continue Reading it’s an urban myth that husbands never listen to their wives

turning 66 and meeting the trans new me

DARE I WRITE THIS? I suppose I’d best: yesterday was my 66th birthday—I’ve made it this far! This is no big deal to those who have known the West Coast version of me: staid and rather predictably unadventurous. Boring, in fact. (But considerate, no matter what my ex says!) But to those who know only the old East Coast version of me, and remember the wild and woolly ’70s when I was over-busy sewing my wild odes, may be surprised that I have made it to this stage. And I was predictably boring on my birthday, spending most of… Continue Reading turning 66 and meeting the trans new me

get ready, antifa-sters, ’cause the boogeyman is comin’ to getcha

TRIED-AND-TRUE TACTICS of the mainstream media in ‘reporting the news’ so that it fits the ‘party line’ include false equivalency, ‘balanced’ reporting, and selecting evidence that supports an official position are busy as you read this! In fact, the corporate media is “busy creating a left-wing ‘threat’ to balance out the awful, racist, rightwing hordes who threaten civil society” against the antifa-sters! 1 At least so says the indomitable Thom Hartmann in an article for AlterNet on August 29. 2017. For those unfamiliar with Thom Hartmann, he was one of the central voices of Air America that brightened and enlightened… Continue Reading get ready, antifa-sters, ’cause the boogeyman is comin’ to getcha

telling the truth usually requires facts

  TRUTH MATTERS! FACTS MATTER!   And telling the truth usually requires facts. Anyone telling you otherwise is either very, very stupid—or is trying to get something from you that you really, really don’t want to give up.   Cartoon by Nate Beeler of The Columbus dispatch. The following is the entire guest editorial “Truth, Lies and Numbness” by Roger Cohen for the Opinion Pages of the August 24, 2017, edition of The New York Times. (I have taken liberties with the layout.) “You grow numb. You grow weary. I recall discovering a few weeks back that President Trump had lied about… Continue Reading telling the truth usually requires facts